On 11 August Queenscliffe Rotary Club brought RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) to Geelong for the first time.
The focus of the award winning program is "My life. My choices" and students were challenged to evaluate their decisions as drivers and passengers. 
Students from Bellarine Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College, North Geelong Secondary College, St Josephs College and Western Heights College, joined the over 450,000 students in Australia and New Zealand who have participated in the program.
Pictured is Snr Sgt Tony Francis speaking to students about rights and responsibilities.

RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) is a whole day school excursion that provides Year 11 and 12 students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will contribute to their safe and responsible behaviour as drivers and passengers.
RYDA aims to reduce the number of teenagers killed and injured on our roads each year. Over 300 young people die on Australian and New Zealand roads each year with 20 times that number left with serious life changing road trauma injuries.
RYDA was initiated by members of Rotary and commenced in the northern suburbs of Sydney 14 years ago. In the intervening years over 430,000 students across Australia and New Zealand have had the opportunity to attend this outstanding program
The program follows government best practice guidelines and uses a robust evaluation process to ensure its effectiveness.
At RYDA students participate in six interactive sessions that are presented by professional facilitators. Students:
  • Hear local police officer Snr Sgt Tony Francis talk about rights and responsibilities
  • See practical demonstrations of speed and stopping and what happens to the crash test dummy pedestrian when the driver is “only a few Ks over”
  • Watch a moving video about the life of Genevieve, a young woman who died in a car crash and discuss how the crash could have been prevented
  • Recognise hazards and distractions and learn how to minimise them
  • Evaluate their personality and its effect on decision making
  • Listen to young crash survivor Shae Graham give a powerful presentation about the crash that changed her life
RYDA is funded locally by the Rotary Clubs of Geelong and district, grants from the City of Greater Geelong and Geelong Connected Communities and a small student fee. National sponsors are BOC, Toyota, Bridgestone and Bosch.
For more information about RYDA go to www.rse.org.au  or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kcb8hccs8U.
Please support local sponsor Geelong Connected Communities by signing up for their monthly newsletter at http://www.geelongconnectedcommunities.com.au.