Young Mahurangi motorists taught to assess driving risks

Mahurangi College students watch as a speeding car attempts to come to a halt.

The next generation of motorists should be a lot better drivers than their predecessors, thanks to Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA).

About 180 students from Mahurangi College were taught all the things a young driver could need to know, including how to assess risky decisions and understand the perspective of other drivers.

The students attended six interactive sessions in small groups and had the opportunity to speak to a real crash survivor and interview them on the circumstances that led to their accident.

A police officer showed the students high-impact videos showing the cause and effect of decisions made on the road.

Another lesson included the location and radius of a truck’s blind spots.

Students also got an on-road demonstration of how long it takes for a car to stop at 40, 50 and 60km/h to understand the difference that speed can make.

Programme coordinator Pearl Newman says it is not enough to teach a young person the skill of controlling a vehicle.

“We must balance this with the skill of critical thinking and an appreciation for safety on the road,” she says.

The RYDA programme is delivered to 50,000 high school students each year.


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