Rotary Youth Driver Awareness
What is RYDA?
RYDA a not-for-profit company (limited by guarantee), is an organisation that has developed a road safety education program delivered to the youth of our community through Rotary Clubs. The Program is directed towards our young people about road safety as they approach the period in their life when they start driving a car and ride as a passenger in a car driven by one of their peers.
How long has RYDA been operating?
Established in 2000 in northern metropolitan Sydney the Program has grown rapidly as a result of strong demand from schools. Over 50,000 students have participated in the Program since inception. Such is the demand it is expected that by 2008, students participating in the Program in that year alone will exceed 30,000.
Where is the Program offered?
An initiative of Rotary District 9680 (covering the area from Sydney Harbour north to the Central Coast) the Program is now also offered in Illawarra, Taree, Central Coast, Dubbo, Cowra, Bathurst, Orange, Young, Narrabri and Western Sydney. Elsewhere around Australia, the Program has run in Tasmania and South Australia with plans are well advanced to introduce RYDA into Queensland.
- To provide first quality road safety information to youth
- To help ensure that when young people commence driving they have had the best road safety education possible.
The Program targets Year 11 students
- This is the time most young people are starting to think about driving so their interest levels are high
- Once young people leave school they are not available as a group to receive such education
- Peer pressure has a major effect on students this age. The program addresses students as both drivers and passengers in order to change the environment in the car rather than focusing solely on the driver
- Research shows that once young drivers start driving they are less receptive to safety messages because they have an unfounded belief in their own competency - so the window of opportunity is quite narrow.
- Schools have a duty to deliver this information in Year 11 but find it almost impossible to resource an expert program, with experienced professionals who have had experience at the "coal face"
- This best practice program means that the content and delivery meets criteria established by expert authorities (approved by RYDA) including the Department of Transport and the Department of Education and Training.
The Program was initially developed in consultation with
- NSW Roads & Traffic Authority
- NSW Police Department
- NSW Department of Education and Training
- NSW Department of Health
- NSW Office of Fair Trading
Partnering with the Community - How the Program is supported
RYDA and participating Rotary Clubs partner with those organisations in our community which have a responsibility for, or an interest in, road safety for our youth. The Program is developed and updated in consultation with State Government authorities having responsibility for Roads and Education, Health and the Police. Local councils and the business and philanthropic community support the Program. Students contribute to the cost with Rotary Clubs picking up all cases of hardship so that no student is denied the opportunity of attending the Program.