Nearly 270 year 10 students from three Albury public high schools have taken part in the region’s first road safety program on 29-30 November. RYDA is a professionally developed road safety initiative that aims to equip students with the tools, habits and behaviours to stay safe on roads as both drivers and passengers.
According to national road safety statistics, every year approximately 1,200 people are killed and another 44,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15 and the second-biggest killer of all Australians aged between 15 and 24, according to the Australian Automobile Association.
The RYDA program is professionally developed by leading learning organisation and not-for-profit Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), with the Albury-Wodonga program delivered alongside corporate partner, Boral Limited, one of the largest suppliers of construction materials in Australia, and hosted by the Rotary Club of Albury.
Students at Murray High School, James Fallon High School and Albury High School joined the more than 735,000 young people, to date, who have participated in the RYDA program, in part through the support of Boral, other corporate partners and governments.
Boral had a heavy vehicle at the workshop to help students better understand the varying risks around trucks compared with general motor vehicles.
As part of the program, a Boral driver shared their experiences and knowledge on operating trucks on the road, and students had the opportunity to sit in the cabin to understand its blind spots, learn about stopping speeds of heavy vehicles, and the different risks and considerations when sharing a road with trucks.
Mr Rod Cousin, area operations manager for Boral Concrete, said the company is committed to Zero Harm and safety procedures, extending to taking responsibility for road safety and better educating drivers and passengers with whom it shares the road.
“We are proud to provide long-term support of road safety initiatives like the RYDA program, and expand this education to the regional community of Albury-Wodonga,” he said.
“It’s important that we educate our future drivers on best practice road safety and how to think and act while driving, in addition to how they can remain safe on our shared roads. Playing an active role in our partnership with RSE is a great experience for us and the next generation of drivers.”
Mr John Elliott, RSE’s head of marketing and program delivery, said it was exciting to launch the RYDA program in Albury, marking the first one in the inland city.
“Albury has a significant presence of trucks on its roads, which provides a great setting for providing youth with the tools and resources to stay safe around them. Our RYDA program promises to be a good experience for novice drivers and passengers, highlighting the unique considerations of sharing the road with heavy vehicles.”