Year 10 students from across the Clarence Valley are now better equipped to be safe behind the wheel when they get their drivers licenses after completing the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness RYDA at program last week.
RYDA is a program that was professionally developed by leading organisation Road Safety Education Limited and is designed to complement the high school curriculum.
Maclean Rotary Club member and RYDA coordinator Glenn Brown said the program aims to provide students with the tools, habits and motivation to take action and stay safe on our roads as both drivers and passengers throughout their lives.
“We had nearly 200 kids there on Friday and we had 80 kids participating on Thursday in the RYDA program at the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre,” he said.
“On Thursday we had Maclean High School kids involved and on Friday we had the four other schools that the Lower Clarence kids can go to, Pacific Valley Christian School, St Andrews Christian School, Clarence Valley Anglican School CVAS and we had McAuley Catholic College kids come down.
“All the kids were from year 10, kids that are about to get their licences, about to get their learner plates and learn to drive.”
Mr Brown said the RYDA training is designed to develop a greater awareness of a lot of the issues associated with driving and to raise their awareness of them.
“We put the kids through six 30-minute sessions and the police were involved, we had the Grafton Highway Patrol helping us out,” he said.
“We do all different stopping exercises where we show the kids how differently the car stops at different speeds and how far it takes to stop, we do some of the physics of driving and speeding and stopping, with a car that O’Halloran Motors of Maclean have supplied.”
Mr Brown said the RYDA program has been running locally since 2009, this is its 14th year it has been run, and without the extremely generous support of O’Halloran Motors at Maclean who have supplied the car for 12 of those years, more than 2500 local year 10 students wouldn’t have gained the skills and knowledge to keep them safe.
Clarence Valley Council’s youth officer Allira Newton helped Maclean Rotary Club facilitate the program along with volunteers from Yamba Rotary, who provided lunch for the students on both days, plus volunteers from Iluka Woombah Rotary and we had people from Grafton Midday Rotary Club come down and help.
Mr Brown thanked Maclean Bowling Club for a $3000 grant to run the RYDA program, Clarence Valley Council for the venue, Raymond Laurie Sports Centre Manager Steve Smith, and Causley Fresh Fruit for supplying fruit for the lunches.