RYDA - Rotary Youth Driver Awareness Program


From: Wednesday September 15, 2021, 9:00 am

To: Wednesday September 15, 2021, 2:30 pm

Dates for the remainder of 2021

27th July Tuesday

Pittsworth SHS Year 10

28th July Wednesday   

Pittsworth SHS Year 11 

15th Sept Wednesday   

St Mary's College Year 11

27th Oct Wednesday     

Downlands College Year 10

3rd Nov Wednesday

Oakey SHS Year10

11th Nov Thursday         

Roma SHS Year 11 & 12

18th Nov Thursday

Mt lofty SHS Year12


RYDA'S Mission

To provide first quality road safety information to youth. To help ensure that when young people commence driving they have had the best road safety education possible.

The Beginning

In July 2000, the Hills district of Sydney suffered a devastating loss when four teenage boys lost their lives in a horrendous car crash on Old Northern Road. The accident occurred at what is considered to be a mild bend in the road when the car, driven by a 17 year old who had held his provisional license for just three weeks, veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided with a four-wheel drive. The car holding the teenagers, which police estimate to have been travelling at 110 kilometres per hour in a 60 kilometre per hour zone, was virtually torn in two.

Shocked by the senseless loss of such young lives, the Hills Rotary clubs set out to help avoid a repetition of this appalling accident in a practical way by establishing and sponsoring a youth driver awareness programme.

A public meeting was held in August 2000 where local Rotary clubs, the Salvation Army, the RTA, local police, councils, schools, businesses, Road Safety offices and community groups were well represented. Also attending the meeting was Rotarian, Bruce Angus who had successfully run a small country-focused driver awareness program in the Wingecarribee area called “U-Turn the Wheel”.

A Committee was formed to develop and adopt a suitable program for roll-out in Sydney. The curriculum and session plans were carefully constructed and refined in close collaboration with the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Transport, the Police Department, the Department of Health and the Department of Fair Trading.

The six session program was first introduced in the beginning of 2001 at the Honda Australia Roadcraft Training site in St Ives, Sydney. Approximately 1,200 Year 11 students from six schools in the Hills area attended the program in its inaugural year.

Now over 150,000 students have participated in the RYDA programme, held in venues all across Australia.

RYDA on the Darling Downs

At the beginning of 2009 local Rotary clubs formed the Rotary Darling Downs RYDA Committee, and preparations began to offer the programme to all high schools on the Darling Downs, and Gatton. Local resolve in this regard was strengthened by the dreadful accident at Highfields. In that year, with the support of a grant from NRMA, the programme was run at the Oakey Soccer Grounds, using Soccer Club facilities (the former drive-in theatre) and a couple of large hired tents. Council and Police support allowed the closure of Hamlyn Road for the Braking Distance demonstrations. RYDA was presented to students from three high schools; Centenary Heights, Harristown, and Oakey.

In 2010 RYDA moved to Oakey Showgrounds. Four high schools attended, and the programme has ran for three days. In 2011 two more high schools attended, and the programme was also be presented at Dalby, well supported by the Dalby Rotary Club.

In 2012 Chinchilla State High School joined the programme, the event being presented at the Chinchilla Show Grounds. Local support was provided by Chinchilla Rotary Club.

The Current Programme

In Toowoomba the programme is currently presented at the Clifford Park Race Track, in much improved facilities. The Turf Club provides four rooms, at a reduced rental, and the Braking Distance Demonstration it presented in the sealed car park.

Eventually, for Toowoomba high schools, the programme will be presented at Toowoomba Show Ground, using the facilities being developed by the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland in their Drive 4 Life initiative.

The Darling Downs Committee is gradually accumulating the facilities necessary to present RYDA without external support. These facilities will include a trailer to transport the RYDA equipment to any location on the Downs where it is desired.






Various, Toowoomba QLD 4350

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