RYDA encourages young drivers to think about consequences of crashes | Photos

Accidents can occur on the road at any time, no matter how good or experienced the driver is. 

But the RYDA program run at Frogs Hollow on Tuesday aimed to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur on roads by improving young drivers’ awareness of what factors can cause a crash. 

About 130 students from the Far South Coast attended the event, including from Bombala High School, with Bombala student Ellery Farran remarking how the day was interesting and revealing.

“It definitely makes you think about your actions a bit more,” the 16-year-old said. 

“And it makes you feel guilty about yelling at people for going too slow!” 

She and her fellow students had learnt about risks, speeding and how easy it was to lose your licence.

“It makes you follow the rules a bit more,” Ellery said. 

Two of the most memorable presenters on the day were John Perry of Bega and Maggie Bramich, formerly of Merimbula, both who shared their stories of car accidents. 

Thirteen years ago Mr Perry and a work colleague were driving across the Corunna River Bridge near Narooma when their van was hit head on by a car travelling 130kmh.

He died three times and was told he would never walk again from his injuries, but after intensive rehabilitation he has regained the use of his legs. 

“If you’re going to drive a car and you’re going to drive like an idiot, someone is going to die,” Mr Perry said. 

The Rotary Club of Bega partnered with industry leader Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) to bring the award-winning RYDA youth road safety program to the students. 

It has been run at Bega for 11 years and this year welcomed the 5000th student to attend the program during its time.

Bombala High’s Year 11 adviser Donna Shelley wanted to thank Rotary and all the presenters for putting on a very valuable day.

She said teachers could repeatedly tell their students about safer driving, but the message did not sink in until they heard from people their age and those who had survived road accidents.