Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program a huge success

A grant to the Inglewood Rotary Club has enabled 145 high school students to receive the tools and understanding they need to see themselves as active, responsible road citizens.

The RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) program has been implemented in various parts of New Zealand and Australia. 145 students from Inglewood and Stratford High Schools took part in the program on March 13 and it was considered a resounding success.

"The TET grant enabled the course to be run at no cost to the students or the schools, which was a huge help and allowed the students to be exposed to six different workshops in their groups," Inglewood Rotary Club Secretary Mel Cook said.

The six workshops were:

Drive SOS explored what sudden and unforeseen dangers might present themselves to a driver and how peripheral vision impacts what the driver sees, or not

Speed and Stopping was a practical class of a car being driven at various speeds and having the students estimate stopping distances and the effects of failure to stop in time and practical examples of ANCAP Safety Ratings of the cars the students were themselves driving, in almost every case they underestimated the distances involved and the effect impact at such slow speeds can have

Mind Matters explored how emotions and music can distract a driver and role plays were used to great effect

The ‘I’ in Drive looked at risk factors for passengers and what responsibilities passengers have to positively influence the driver. Excellent video clips showed how this can be done to immediate effect

Road Choices was facilitated by two Community Police Constables and examined how different sections of the community played a role in overall road safety (individuals, law makers and the Police), it looked at how fatigue plays a part as a risk factor and looked at three different categories of distractions (Manual, cognitive and manual)

Crash Investigators looked at a real example of a serious crash and presented by a tetraplegic who had driven after drinking and a long day, on a country road in the middle of the night and left the road at 150kmph when he wasn’t wearing his seat belt and the injuries that his three passengers suffered.

All the attendees had a handbook given to them and each book had knowledge quizzes for each module and each module highlighted the main points of each workshop.