THE Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program aims to go a step further than traditional driving instructors by focusing on road safety awareness.
(min cost $8)
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Hundreds of students from schools in Bathurst, Lithgow, Blayney and Portland will attend the Mount Panorama pit complex next week for the three-day event.
Iain McKean, the Rotary Club of Bathurst's RYDA program coordinator, said the program is all about teaching young drivers the finer details of being behind the wheel.
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"RYDA, as part of the name says, it is an awareness course. It's not actually about how to drive the car, to put it into gear or how to steer it or the road rules, it's more talking about the other side of it," he said.
"As in observation, things that cause accidents that the driver should be aware of, as in answering phones, talking to friends in the back and being distracted while driving. It's more about those finer details than what you get from a driving instructor.
"We provide these skills for the young drivers and most of it is for people who haven't even started driving yet, so they can learn from that. Hopefully what we are going to achieve is people go away from the course and look at those things while driving. Hopefully that prevents them from having accidents."
Throughout the program, students work through a series of practical workshops that are designed to create smarter driving strategies and change the way they think about road safety.
Students will be split into six groups and rotate through different sections of the course.
The RYDA program has been running at Mount Panorama for more than 10 years, in that time seeing thousands of students participate.
Mr McKean said the feedback from students over the years has been positive.
"The students have all come back with high praise of the course," he said.
"Depending on who's presenting the course, we do get different responses for different parts of the course, but generally the response is they are absolutely glad they've done it and the information they walk away with is invaluable."
The course will be run from Monday to Wednesday at the Mount Panorama pit complex.
Although it is expensive, Mr McKean said it was the perfect venue to hold the RYDA program at.
"The kids love going up to the complex. It just gives them a feel of cars and racing and the whole lot of it," he said.
The program is supported by local businesses, headspace, NSW Police, and local driving instructors.
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