During a recent week long safety blitz 393 high school students from 7 different schools participated in the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program in Townsville, North Queensland. Since commencing in 2010, over 2,400 students have now participated in RYDA Townsville.
PBF Australia and RYDA have been working together for many years to equip young people with the knowledge to stay safe on our roads. A series of practical and powerful workshops aim to change the way young adults think about road safety. PBF presenters, who have incurred a permanent spinal cord injury in a road traffic accident, are involved in the challenging “After the Crash” session. They share their personal story, discussing the crash and the factors involved, and the long term impacts of their injuries. They further engage the students by explaining the broader consequences of the accident including the ‘ripple effect’ on their family, friends and the wider community.
Steve Richter was PBF’s Road Presenter for the week. Steve makes the annual trip to Townsville to share his personal story of survival with the students. It is compelling to have a speaker with life-changing injuries share their story, and it brings a range of reflective comments on the effect of road crashes. Many of these comments highlight the consequences of bad choices on the road.
Spinal cord injury is permanent, there is no cure. The road to recovery after a serious crash is a long one – for many, it’s a life-long journey. The take home message PBF delivers for the students is profound.
“We would like to thank Steve and PBF for the assistance and support provided in delivering the 2016 Townsville RYDA program. Without the generous support of facilitators, sponsors and volunteers, our club wouldn’t be able to deliver this important experience for senior school students. There has already been enquiry and commitment from schools for the 2017 Townsville RYDA. We look forward to PBF’s continued involvement.” Caitlin Scott, President, Rotary Club of Townsville.