Two hundred and sixty Year 10 and 11 Clarence Valley students now have a better idea about what to expect once they get behind the wheel of their first car.
Last Thursday and Friday at the Ngayundi Yamba Sports Complex in Yamba, local Rotary club volunteers from Maclean, Yamba, Iluka and Grafton were on hand to facilitate the annual Rotary Youth Driver Awareness [RYDA] program.
There was a lot to learn for the students, with a focus on the dangers, risks and issues associated with driving on our roads.
The national program focuses on attitude and awareness, with the aim of helping young adults become better people on the road.
Peer pressure from passengers has a major effect on the way young people behave behind the wheel and, by addressing students as both drivers and passengers; the program aims to change the environment in the car rather than just focusing on the driver.
A team of local people, including police, health professionals, crash survivors and a motor vehicle enthusiast contributed their expertise and experience towards the initiative.
The program involved six sessions, which discussed: the hazards, distractions and risks commonly connected to the use of vehicles; alcohol, drugs, fatigue and driving; the role of police and common driving errors; personal stories from crash survivor victims; responsibilities of driving a vehicle; and a practical exercise on stopping distances at different driving speeds.
This is the sixth year that the program has been offered to students in the Clarence Valley.