‚ÄčDistrict Rotary Clubs present RYDA - Road Safety Youth Driver Awareness Program
  • In 2000, four teenage boys were killed in a car driven by an inexperienced P plater. The car smashed into an innocent women’s vehicle, the woman was seriously injured and all four young men died. The local Rotary Club decided that something had to be done and the first RYDA program was conducted by the St Ives Rotary Club in 2001. This was the beginning of RYDA – a Youth Driver Awareness community based road safety initiative created to deliver practical road safety information targeting ‘attitude and awareness’ of young drivers and passengers. RYDA is designed to help stop the tragic loss of young people in road crashes.
  • RYDA is coordinated locally by Rotary Clubs across Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Road Safety Education Ltd, a not for profit organisation dedicated to the reduction of road accidents and serious trauma resulting from road accidents involving young inexperienced drivers. Road Safety Education provides educational, evidence based programs that are presented by trained safety instructors including police and driving instructors.
  • Road Safety Education, Program Director, Greg Rappo, has said the “the RYDA program is designed for 16 – 18 year old students who are approaching that crucial time in their lives when they start to drive independently or are travelling as passengers with novice drivers”
  • The RYDA program offers six practical and powerful workshops that aim to change the way young people think about road safety. In a one day interactive event students experience confronting videos, experience braking demonstrations and receive advice from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and their families.
  • RYDA is not a driving school.  RYDA is an interactive program presented in lecture halls away from school, designed to complement and supplement the school curriculum, kept up to date through ongoing review by a panel of renowned experts and in consultation with relevant government Departments.
“Getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle as a young driver, is said to be among the most dangerous things that a person will do in their entire life”
  • Tocal College Campus at Paterson is an ideal location to run the RYDA program. Tocal College provides their excellent facilities to Rotary to present the program to high schools within a reasonable bus trip to and from the campus. Schools arrive by bus and participate in the six half hour sessions during the day. Schools have offered statements such as this by Daniel Garner from Irrawang High –
“Our staff and students have just returned from the RYDA excursion and the overwhelming response was that it was a great day and our kids got a great deal out of it. ……... The mail from staff is that our kids were great and really enjoyed each session.
We look forward to coming to another RYDA course with our next crop of Year 11 students in the future.”
Daniel Garner, Mathematics Faculty, Irrawang High School
  • The importance of RYDA and the benefits presented are recognised by many committed District Clubs and the Tocal RYDA days have been supported by a number of different Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs. “All of us attending and assisting know we are making a difference.” is a comment made by Past District Governor Greg Bevan who helps at most RYDA days at Tocal College.
  • RYDA is presented by Rotary Clubs from one end of District 9670 to the other.
  • Newcastle Rotary Club  holds 8 program days at the Adamstown RTA Driving Range
  • Nelson Bay Rotary Club hold 1 Program day
  • Dubbo Rotary Clubs, who bring schools into town for their RYDA days and support many schools within driving distance of the Dubbo venue.
  • Rutherford Telarah Rotary Club holds as many Program days at Tocal College Campus at Paterson as needed to provide the RYDA program to local schools. Tocal College is an ideal location to run the RYDA program. Tocal College provides their excellent facilities to Rotary to present the program to high schools within a reasonable bus trip to and from the campus.  
Through the RYDA Program, Rotary is helping to make our roads safer not only for young drivers and young passengers but for all who share the roads with young drivers.
For more information about the RYDA Program go to Road Safety Education Ltd at, call 1300 127 642 or email to