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RYDA Makes Our Roads Safer

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Acting Sergeant Chris Watson, from the Gympie Road Policing Unit, and Senior Constable Jade Miller, from the Kingaroy Road Policing Unit, with a bunch of Kingaroy State High School students who watched the stopping distance display on Thursday … from left, Amber Fitz-Herbert, Savannah Jeffs, Denzel Strauss and Sarah Underwood with “Johnny” the dummy

May 2, 2019

South Burnett roads should be a little bit safer following the latest round of Rotary’s successful RYDA program in Kingaroy this week.

About 250 Year 11 students from Murgon, Kingaroy and Nanango State high schools and St Mary’s Catholic College attended all-day road safety programs at the Kingaroy TAFE college.

The school visits were spread across Wednesday and Thursday.

The students, who are either already on their L-plates or about to be, came face-to-face with the realities and responsibilities of being a road user.

Anecdotally, police say crashes in the South Burnett involving young drivers have decreased since the RYDA program began 10 years ago, but there are still too many.

The students were divided into small groups and took turns attending a series of workshops.

They learned about stopping distances with an on-road display by traffic police which included a dummy pedestrian being knocked flying on more than one occasion.

As well as the speed and stopping display, they covered “Driver SOS”, “Genevieve’s Story”,  the “I In Drive”, “Crash Investigators” and “Road Choices”.

Genevieve’s Story relates the true tale of two 18-year-old girls who were killed in a head-on crash in the Yarra Valley in Victoria in 2009.

It is a powerful message aimed at getting the young drivers to think about the consequences of their actions, and the reason why crashes are never “accidents”.

The “I in Drive” workshop encouraged the students to examine their own personalities and weaknesses, judging risk awareness, self-control and the ability to speak up.

The RYDA workshops are organised by the Kingaroy, Taabinga and Murgon Rotary clubs in conjunction with local police, SES and other volunteers.

The program is prepared by not-for-profit group, Road Safety Education, which also provided some speakers.

Local RYDA co-ordinator Geoff Hosking said this was the 10th year the program had run in Kingaroy.

He said all the presentations had been updated for the 2019 workshops.

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Rotary members were kept busy making sure everything ran smoothly … from left, Lex Petersen, Geoff Hosking and Ron Roberts

Taking students through Genevieve’s Story were, from left, Senior Constable Rhys Everitt, Senior-Constable Dan Walters, volunteer-in-policing Peter Verbakel and Senior-Constable Todd Armstrong

SES volunteer Joe Hafemeister and “Johnny” who had a rough two days being run over on Geritz Road

RYDA volunteer Col Rogerson, from South Burnett Motorcycle Rider Training, took the ‘Drive SOS’ presentation

Shayne Ralph, from Road Safety Education, took each group through a workbook aimed at raising awareness of the “I In Drive”

Acting Sergeant Chris Watson explains vehicle safety to the students … for example, the importance of correct tyre inflation and tyre tread

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