How RYDA Helps Young Drivers

Since 2006, RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) have been running workshops with high school students, educating them on driver safety and distraction. These aren’t driving lessons, but training sessions on developing personal strategies and skills that will help young drivers respond to challenges on the road – both in the driver’s seat and as passengers.

We’re proud to partner with Road Safety Education (RSE) who run the RYDA program throughout 58 schools across New Zealand and aim to reduce the youth road toll.

Our AMI branch employees also take time to volunteer with the RYDA sessions in their regions. AMI Auckland South Store Manager Mary Lea’aetoa went along to Papakura High School and Onewhero College for their first RYDA session.

“It was a great day, but it was raining heavily! Luckily me and Taufau Leilua, Personal Insurance Consultant, took a box of AMI ponchos which we shared with the group. We had such a wonderful time supporting the RYDA programme and engaging with the teenagers in our community. The session was insightful not just for the students but for us as well – we also got to get involved in the activities. It was particularly inspirational to hear from a crash survivor and be given the task of analysing the crash.”

Each workshop students attend is based around six practical and interactive sessions, including putting the “I” in drive, hazards, distractions and risks, speed and stopping distances, road choices, Genevieve’s story (a video about the life and death of an 18-year-old and her best friend), as well as a chance to meet and talk with a crash survivor.

The RYDA programme educates students at the crucial point where they’ve just started driving or are thinking of getting their licence.

Digital Engagement Specialist Charlotte Farrow joined Henderson High for their day of learning.

“There was a session about getting to know yourself and your risk when on the roads which I found really interesting, and the teens seemed to really get to understand themselves and their appetite to risk as well when it comes to driving. We also got to hear from a crash survivor and her journey, which was really sobering and a huge eye opener into how hard it is to overcome a serious crash.

The instructors were great, they related well with the teens and made it a fun and engaging day. The kids got involved and engaged, and you could see that it was a big eye opener to them… it provides so much information to kids starting to drive to help them feel more confident on the roads and hopefully make them think twice before making silly decisions!”

To find out if RYDA is running a program in your area, view the RSE location tool, or learn more about RYDA here. RYDA also have a number of student resources like reaction time and stopping distance calculators, safety guides, tools and quizzes.