RYDA - Rotary Youth Driver Awareness

RYDA New Zealand Limited is an initiative of Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand
. RYDA is a not for profit organisation that has developed a Programme to help educate young people about road safety as they approach that period in their life when they start driving a car and ride as a passenger in a car driven by one of their peers.

How long has RYDA been operating?
Established in the metropolitan area of Sydney in 2000, the Programme has grown rapidly as a result of strong demand from schools and was established in New Zealand in 2006.

Programme Launch in New Zealand
The RYDA Programme ran for the first time in New Zealand as a pilot Programme held on Auckland's North Shore early in 2007 and involved five schools.

As a result of this successful pilot the programme was rolled out progressively to other schools in New Zealand.

Where is the RYDA Programme offered? 
Initially offered in Auckland, Northland and Franklin District in 2008, RYDA is rolling out the Programme progressively and is offering it nationally where there is a clear need.

In the 2011/2012 Rotary year the programme will be delivered to over 8000 students from Kaitaia to Christchurch.

Steve Carey, Counties Manakau Serious Crash Unit.

What People are Saying 
"…it was really fun and I learnt a lot which will help me in the future" - 15 year old male, Kamo High School
"A thoroughly enjoyable and important day. The students have had excellent opportunities to develop their learning around driving. The enthusiasm and commitment of RYDA and people associated with RYDA is much appreciated" – Year 11 Dean. Orewa College

RYDA's Mission
To provide first quality road safety information to youth helping to ensure that when they commence driving they have received the best possible road safety education.

The Programme targets 15 to 17 year old students
This is the time most young people are starting to think about driving so their interest levels are high. Once young people leave school they are not available as one group to receive such education.

Peer pressure has a major effect on students this age. The Programme addresses students as both drivers and passengers in order to change the environment in the car rather than focusing solely on the driver.

Research shows that once young drivers start driving, they are less receptive to safety messages because they have an unfounded belief in their own competency - so the window of opportunity is quite narrow.

Schools are required to deliver this information in Year 11, but can often find it almost impossible to resource an expert Programme, with experienced professionals who have had experience at the 'coal face'.

This best practice Programme means that the content and delivery must meet the criteria established by expert authorities. In New Zealand, the Programme is subject to review by relevant Government authorities.

Partnering with the Community - how the Programme is supported 
Rotary partners with those organisations in our community which have a responsibility for, or an interest in, road safety for our youth. The Programme is developed and updated in consultation with authorities having responsibility for Roads, Education, Health and the Police. Local councils, businesses and the philanthropic community support the Programme. Students contribute to the cost with Rotary picking up all cases of hardship so that no student is denied the opportunity of attending the Programme.

Demand from Schools 
The demand from schools in New Zealand has been very strong since the programme's inception.

RYDA has seen substantial growth in school and student participation since the Pilot in 2007. Over 15,000 students have participted in the programme to date as ghe programme has been progressively rolled out. Around 11,000 students will have participated in the 2010 calendar year alone involving over 80 schools, and that additional schools will join the programme in future years.

To learn more, please visit their website - http://www.ryda.org.nz/


Ru Tauri, General Manager

Email: ru@ryda.org.nz

Phone: 021 545 030 or 09 426 3633