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Monday, July 15, 2024

Year 11s in driver awareness

OVER 800 Year 11 students from Far North Queensland participated in the Rotary Young Driver Awareness (RYDA) Program over the past two weeks.

This initiative came in recognition of the fact that getting behind the wheel of a car is one of the most dangerous things a young person can do.

Young Australians continue to be over-represented in road trauma statistics, with 17-25-year-olds making up 10 per cent of the population but representing 22 per cent of all driver and passenger fatalities. 

While this statistic is better than it was 10 years ago, this still means that 230 young people died on Australian roads last year and approximately 10 times that number were seriously injured.

In the past two weeks the Rotarians of Far North Queensland facilitated and supported the crew from Road Safety Education (RSE) in making the RYDA Program available to local Year 11 students.

Shayne Ralph, Nick Joy and Pearl Newman from RSE ensured each day ran smoothly.

The program was presented to eleven high schools and 823 students participated over an 8-day period. 

Rotarians from Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise, Rotary Club of Cairns West, Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity, Rotary Mareeba, Atherton Rotary Club North Queensland Australia and Rotary Club of Innisfail Fitzgerald helped with their local knowledge to co-ordinate venues, catering, driving schools, and police to attend each day. 

The schools that attended included:

  • Mareeba State High School
  • Mount St Bernard College, Herberton
  • Kuranda District State College
  • Atherton State High School
  • Innisfail State College
  • Good Counsel College
  • Woree State High School
  • St Mary’s Catholic College
  • Redlynch State College
  • St Monica’s College
  • Smithfield State High School Tropical North Learning Academy

Area Governor for Rotary in Far North Queensland Rita Zapulla said the driver awareness program was useful in educating young people.

“The whole day is interactive with videos and workshops the students attend, which provide them with practical strategies and powerful messages so they can in future drive safely behind the wheel of a car,” she said.

The program is free to schools and is sponsored by Transport Department in QLD, BOC, Boral, Bridgestone, Toyota and Rotary International.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Annee’s opens third Cairns store and Lagoon to close for maintenance.

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