For every day of 2017, more than three people were killed on Australian roads.
More terrifying is that for every life lost, more than 20 people suffered life changing injuries as a direct result of road trauma.
2018 has already seen a worrying upward shift in the national road toll, with 44 more deaths on the road than for the same period last year, an increase of 17.
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey says one of the biggest challenges remains on country roads, which accounted for almost 70 per cent of the State’s road toll last year.
"If you live in the country you are four times more likely to die in a road crash than if you live in metro NSW," Pavey adds.
Many rural communities are realising that more needs to be done and are taking the initiative with increased education for novice drivers now being recognised as a key to a long term reduction in road trauma.
The combined Rotary Clubs of Taree, Wingham and Old Bar are continuing their partnership with industry leader, Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) to bring the award winning youth road safety program RYDA to more than 700 students from 10 local high schools, including Gloucester High School, during May and June.
Held annually, the RYDA program has been embedded in the local community for 14 years, with more than 6500 students attending over this time.
RSE, a national not for profit organisation, is the provider of the RYDA program which runs at around 90 venues across Australia and New Zealand, and has seen more than half a million students attend the program to date.
“RYDA is a series of practical and powerful workshops for high school students that challenge students to change the way they think about road safety and lay the foundation for safe road use throughout their lives,” Greg Rappo, RSE program director, said.
“RYDA focuses on building and increasing social competency and resilience and motivating low-risk behavior. Trained facilitators work with students to develop and practice personalised strategies which will help them respond positively to challenges on the road, both as drivers and highly influential passengers.
“This education doesn’t come from driving lessons, or the school classroom,” Mr Rappo said.
RYDA is made possible through the strong support of corporate partners, BOC, Toyota Australia, Bridgestone, and MTAA Super as well as community partner, Rotary.
Laurie Easter, RYDA coordinator in Taree says one of the great things about RYDA is that with the support of local Rotary clubs, it can be run in all communities, by local road safety and education professionals, including the police.
“Young people continue to be over represented in road crash statistics,” he said.
“In fact, one young person dies on Australian roads almost every day. And for every life lost, another 20 are forever changed due to serious injuries.
“The most dangerous time for any young road user is in the first six to 12 months of being a solo driver,” he said.
The RYDA program runs in Taree on May 29, June 12, June 19 and June 21.
Further information can be found at www.rse.org.au
Road Safety Education Limited, a national not for profit organisation is committed to reducing trauma on our roads by educating young people in senior high school through its flagship program, RYDA.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.