Helping young drivers and passengers be safe on our roads

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

A free road safety course for high school students is changing the way young Canberrans think about road safety.

Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury today officially launched the RYDA (Road Safety Youth Driver Awareness) program in the ACT, which received funding in the last round of the ACT Road Safety Community Grants.

The one-day RYDA program is a series of six interactive workshops which help students develop and practice skills which will help them to respond positively to challenges on the road, both as drivers and highly influential passengers.

Mr Rattenbury said the program supports the Road Ready program offered to students in Year 10 across the ACT.

“It is important that young Canberrans learn about road safety from a variety of sources - driving lessons, the classroom and from family and friends.

“As a community we must provide opportunities which set up young drivers for a life-time of good driving practices and help them understand the importance of road safety.

One life lost on our roads is too many and we must all change our thinking to put the safety of others first so that we can create a safe road network. On the road, we must all work together, so everyone gets from point A to point B safely” Mr Rattenbury said

“RYDA is a practical and powerful road safety education program that helps high school students lay the foundation for safe road use throughout their lives.

“Trained facilitators, community groups and our local police work with 16-18 year-olds who are approaching that crucial time in their lives where they start to drive independently or are travelling as passengers with young drivers.”

The RYDA program is delivered nation-wide each year to more than 50,000 high school students. Since it began in 2004 RYDA has engaged with more than 500,000 students.

“Across other states and territories there has been a reduction in youth trauma due to extensive learner and provisional driver reforms and safer cars and roads,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The main contributors to young driver crashes are inexperience, inattention, distracted driving and speeding. All of these are things we can do something about.

“There is no one solution which is why the ACT Government is committed to considering a range of approaches that work together to reduce the risk for new and young drivers.

“I am pleased we are supporting initiatives like RYDA which is better preparing them for a lifetime of save driving.”

In the ACT, 15 young drivers have been killed while driving on ACT roads between 2006 and 2017.