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Journeys : August September 2009
In our community Rotary Youth Driver Awareness The Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program provides road safety information to ensure our young people have the best education possible before learning to drive. The program is run throughout Australia. In 2007, Rotary conducted its first RYDA day in southern Tasmania and since then has conducted around seven sessions per year for Grade 10 students in private and public schools. April 2009 saw the 3000th student pass through the program. Rotary, together with its national sponsor BOC, works in conjunction with Tasmania Police, Drug Education Network Inc., The Australian Institute of Advanced Motorists (Tas) Inc., Headway Rebuilding Lives, Commonwealth Bank, Mystate Financial and Performance Automobiles to run six sessions across the day. RACT supported the eight-day Rotary Youth Driver Awareness event. Pictured at the Devonport day are program participants from St Brendan-Shaw College (left to right) Morgan Sullivan, Tegan Sims and Lucy Saltmarsh. F ive deaths and forty serious injury crashes occur every day on Australian roads. Twenty percent of all fatal and serious injury crashes involve provisional drivers and two of these drivers die each week. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Tasmania’s rate of deaths as a result of crashes is thirteen per 100,000 people – the national average is eight. People aged 16 to 24 have a high representation in fatal and serious crashes and male drivers in this age group are five times more likely to be involved in a crash than females. It’s a full-day excursion for the students and includes sessions on safe celebrating, hazard perception, stopping distances, and information on finance and insurance. The two most confronting sessions are run by Tasmania Police Accident Investigation Officers and Headway Rebuilding Lives. This is the opening line from Sergeant Rod Carrick: “Of the 300 students attending RYDA today, one of you will be killed in a car crash within two years of leaving Grade 10.” It definitely grabs the attention of all the students present. The amazing dedication of all those who volunteer their time to educate a generation of ‘invincibles’ is commendable. If it saves the lives of our children and others on the road, then it is certainly a most worthwhile program. A student’s view Ashton Wynn Mt Carmel College To me, at age fifteen, driving meant nothing more than getting from point A to point B and having the freedom to go wherever I please. At least, this was my opinion before I saw the result of what a moment of irresponsibility can lead to. Tasmania Police told us a story of a young girl who had just celebrated her 18th birthday. She and her friends had been drinking and later that night they got in a car. She never got out again – she died crouched in the back of the car covering her head with her hands as protection. Sadly this is only one example of what drink driving, inattention, speeding and inexperience can lead to. I never could have comprehended the impact an accident could have on a person as well as their family and loved ones. If you die it doesn’t just affect you. You will be dead. You won’t have to grieve. It will be your loved ones that will be affected. They will be the ones who will have to watch your coffin being lowered into the ground and grieve over a life lost. So I ask is speeding, inattention or drink driving really worth your life? Is it worth putting your family through all that pain? I believe that every person who intends to drive should attend the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program before stepping foot in a car. It seriously opened my eyes to the results of accidents and to some of the idiots we share the road with. 8 August / September 09 Highway between Kingston and Hobart. The narrow section of the Channel Highway running over Bonnet Hill between Taroona and Kingston is a preferred route for cyclists. But it has continuous double white lines, so cyclists often have a string of cars behind them. Can motorists and cyclists co-exist on Bonnet Hill? R Many cars do the obvious – but illegal – thing, and overtake. This section of road, with a number of blind corners, can be quite dangerous as a result. The Kingston Bicycle User Group is pushing for uphill bike lanes over Bonnet Hill, which would greatly benefit motorists and cyclists. The Bonnet Hill Bicycle Lane project is the number one priority in the Kingborough Bike Plan, which has been endorsed by Kingborough Council. The Council and the State Government have supported the project with grants and work in-kind. RACT welcomes your views about the road safety problem or the proposed bike lanes. Please send feedback to Vince Taskunas, General Manager Public Policy, 6236 4304 or v.taskunas@ract. com.au For more information, contact Kingborough Councillor Flora Fox firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Sheers email@example.com ACT is supporting a plan to overcome a significant frustration hotspot for both motorists and cyclists on the Channel
June July 2009
October November 2009