Putting the brakes on teen death toll

EVERY day one teenager dies on Australian roads on average and Woolgoolga Rotary has decided to do something about it.

The club introduced the Ryda program for Year 11 students from Woolgoolga High School yesterday.

The confronting course was designed to make the new drivers aware how one moment of bad driving can affect them for the rest of their lives.

Students saw a graphic film about a girl who had celebrated her 18th birthday with a big bash and died on the way home.

They also saw first hand the difference speed makes to braking distances and they met a man who survived a teenage car accident and is now in a wheelchair.

It was confronting material for teenagers on the verge of getting their licence.

Jim Arnold from Jim's Driving Academy led the demonstration about braking distances and response times.

He cautioned the kids to be aware of the conditions on the road and choose the appropriate speed.

“It's what the other people do that you need to factor into your driving,” he told the students.

Rotarian project director Keith Minhinnett said the course celebrated safety by addressing issues such as drugs, alcohol and fatigue on reaction time and decision making.

“It's designed specifically for 16/17-year-olds who have a tendency to think they're indestructible,” he said.

The students attended six sessions throughout the day.

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