Heavy message on road safety

Dandenong High School students learn about safely sharing the roads with trucks as part of the RYDA program.

Dandenong High School students got the low down on driver safety, especially in sharing the roads with trucks.

As part of the Road Safety Education Australia (RSEA) program RYDA, the group gathered at Sandown Greyhounds on 6 May to learn about the essential tools, habits and behaviours for keeping safe.

They heard from a cement-mixer driver from construction materials company Boral, and took a seat behind the wheel to learn about truck blind spots and their longer stopping speeds.

“It is essential to educate young drivers and equip them with the tools they need to stay safe on the road,” Boral asphalt executive general manager Tim Richards said.

“For us, this involves getting students up close to one of our trucks to see the road from a new perspective.

“Playing an active role in our partnership with Road Safety Education is a great experience for us and potentially life-changing lesson for the next generation of drivers.”

The event coincided with National Road Safety Week, which highlights the impact of road trauma and its prevention.

Traffic injury is the No.1 killer of Australian children under 15 and the second-biggest killer of Australians aged 15-24.

More than 735,000 students in Australia and New Zealand have taken part in RYDA, which has been running for two years.

RSEA chief executive Terry Briss said the program aimed to save young lives on the road.

“We need to do more than just teach a young person the skill of controlling and manoeuvring a vehicle.

“We must also equip them with the skill of critical thinking and appreciation for safety on shared roads.”

RYDA is supported by governments, charities, businesses and individual donors.