- Flagship Road Safety Education program, RYDA celebrates its 21st Birthday.
- Long-standing program continues to empower young drivers and passengers to make smart decisions on the roads and contribute to road safety outcomes.
- RYDA has benefited the lives of around 725,000 students since its inception.
SYDNEY, New South Wales (25 November, 2022) – Australia and New Zealand's leading road safety education program, RYDA, has reached an iconic milestone and is celebrating the 21st anniversary of its founding.
RYDA is the flagship program of Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) and has positively impacted the lives of around 725,000 Australian and New Zealanders since its inception.
As well as celebrating the traditional rite-of-passage milestone in Australia, RYDA also celebrates its 16th anniversary in New Zealand.
CEO & Managing Director of Road Safety Education Limited, Terry Birss, says the contribution of the RYDA program to society has been undeniable.
"We're proud of the significant difference the RYDA program has made to the safety of young drivers on our roads over the past 21 years through the empowerment of young drivers and passengers," Mr Birss said.
"Our original cohort of RYDA participants are now in their mid-late 30s and I have no doubt that our focus on education through behavioural change and a focus on young driver and passengers' attitudes has played a role in reducing road trauma. I'm delighted with the growth of the RYDA program and the reputation that it continues to build on over its 21 years."
Figures from the International Transport Forum's Road Safety Report 2021 for Australia show a reduction of fatalities on Australian roads of nearly 40 per cent when comparing 2020 figures to 2000, despite 60 per cent more registered vehicles on the road.
However, the figures also indicate some concerning trends as well, with the number of cyclists killed on our roads increasing over the same time – highlighting the continued need for education into driving so others survive.
"While there is so much to celebrate in this milestone, it's also evident that there is still a long way to go to create safer roads for all road users. Programs like RYDA challenge the mindset and behaviours of motorists and give them the tools they need to face the challenges on the road. This is key to achieving the long-term goals in a sustainable manner that will not only impact today's road users, but future ones as well," Mr Birss added.
As part of the RYDA program, students participate in a workshop which features a series of sessions led by expert facilitators who address laws, distractions, risk management, social resilience, speed & stopping, mind state, impairment, vehicle safety and other critical road safety topics.
The program targets school participation with the dedicated RYDA workshop day complemented by a series of resources that are designed to be integrated within the regular curriculum both before and after the workshop.
From humble beginnings as a Rotary project held in one location in Sydney, RYDA now typically sees, 45,000 students take part each year across more than 350 workshop days run throughout Australia and New Zealand, involving more than 650 schools. RYDA workshops are supported throughout Australia by a dedicated team of volunteers primarily RSE's community partner, Rotary, and by corporate partners BOC, Toyota, Bridgestone and Boral.
Mina Howard, District Governor 2022-23, Rotary District 9685 (RYDA's founding district) says, "I'm very proud that Rotarians began this project. A Rotary project begins with an idea by someone who has seen a need and then grows into a successful and impactful program that touches more people than was ever imagined. It is wonderful to see that RYDA has evolved to the stage that 21 years later it is still helping thousands of young people to understand the importance of road safety. Congratulations and may the good work be celebrated for many years to come."
"As RYDA's founding partner, we're delighted to honour this wonderful achievement. The impact that RYDA has made on driver education across Australia and New Zealand has been immense and made a real difference to people's lives through driver safety, and we are proud to be involved with such an important program" John Evans, Managing Director, BOC South Pacific.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Vin Naidoo congratulated Road Safety Education Australia and the RYDA program on this significant milestone.
"Toyota has been a proud partner of RSE since 2011; and we are incredibly grateful for their tireless work and contribution to road safety education over the last 21 years," he said.
Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Heath Barclay, congratulated RYDA on the milestone.
"As a proud partner of the RYDA program, we're thrilled to join Road Safety Education Limited in celebrating this iconic milestone. Since first partnering with RYDA in 2016, we understood the incredible difference this program makes to the lives of young motorists and passengers and our commitment has been unwavering because of the dedication RYDA has to achieving its objectives, and contributing to the goal of preventing road trauma," Mr Barclay said.
Boral's Executive General Manager - Supply Chain & Logistics James Campbell, said:
"We would like to acknowledge RSE and specifically the contribution of the RYDA program in helping to make Australian roads safer over the past 21 years. As operators of a significant on-road fleet we are fully committed to being responsible road citizens and ensuring our drivers and other motorists safely depart and arrive at their destination. We give our thanks to the entire RSE team."
"There are young people alive today and free of injury because of RYDA and our partners" Mr Birss added.
About Bridgestone Australia Ltd.
Bridgestone is a global leader in tyres and rubber, and is building on its expertise to provide solutions for safe and sustainable mobility. In Australia, Bridgestone Australia Ltd. offers a range of services and solutions to all segments of the Australian market to deliver social value and customer value. Bridgestone’s extensive range of quality tyres is complemented by the provision of mechanical and fleet services through the company’s nationwide retail network of Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Service Centres, mobile service provider Lube Mobile, and the manufacturing and sale of quality retreads through Bandag Pty Limited. Bridgestone offers a diverse product portfolio of premium tyres and advanced solutions backed by innovative technologies, improving the way people around the world move, live, work and play.