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ACT Government launches free road safety course for high school students as National Road Safety Week starts

Lachlan Roberts 1 May 2018

From left to right: Superintendent Corey Heldon, AFP Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman, Melba Copeland student Jake Sainsbury, President of the SARAH Group Peter Frazer, and Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury. Photo: Supplied.

A series of practical workshops for high school students that will challenge them to change the way they think about road safety was launched on Monday in a first for the ACT.

As part of National Road Safety Week, Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury launched the Road Safety Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program – a free road safety course that supports the Road Ready program offered to students in Year 10 across Canberra.

The one-day program, which received funding in the last round of the ACT Road Safety Community Grants, is a series of six interactive workshops which aims to help students develop and practice skills that will help them to respond positively to challenges on the road.

Mr Rattenbury said the program will help young Canberrans learn valuable lessons both as drivers and highly influential passengers.

“It is important that young Canberrans learn about road safety from a variety of sources – driving lessons, the classroom and from family and friends,” he said.

“As a community, we must provide opportunities which set up young drivers for a lifetime of good driving practices and help them understand the importance of road safety.”

In the ACT, 15 young drivers were killed while driving on ACT roads between 2006 and 2017. Mr Rattenbury said one life lost on Canberra roads is too many.

“We must all change our thinking to put the safety of others first so that we can create a safe road network. On the road, we must all work together so everyone gets from point A to point B safely,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The now nation-wide program is delivered to more than 50,000 high school students each year and Mr Rattenbury was excited to see the program in the ACT.

“Across other states and territories there has been a reduction in youth trauma due to extensive learner and provisional driver reforms and safer cars and roads,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The main contributors to young driver crashes are inexperience, inattention, distracted driving and speeding. All of these are things we can do something about.”

“There is no one solution which is why the ACT Government is committed to considering a range of approaches that work together to reduce the risk for new and young drivers.”

To find out more about the program, click here.

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