Drivers aged 17 to 20 years represent one of the lowest road user groups but account for one of the highest accident rates on our roads which is why Rotary Nowra got involved.
Rotary is renowned for its community support and achieving great things through their projects.
One of the projects is the U Turn the Wheel road safety education program that targets Year 11 students.
It was developed over 15 years ago by the Moss Vale Rotary Club and the local community to address the attitude and behaviour of young drivers.
The program is now being delivered in the Shoalhaven, at no cost, to all year 11 students through the support of grants and fundraising.
Recently students from five local high schools took part the program at the University of Wollongong Shoalhaven Campus.
The program covered many thought-provoking and confronting topics for the students and was designed to encourage an attitude and behaviour change in this group of drivers.
The program ran over three days for Year 11 students at the critical ages of 16 to 18 years.
The program is supported by the Nowra and Bomaderry Rotary Clubs, Bendigo Bank Nowra Community Branch, Shoalhaven City Council and the Road Safety Officer, University of Wollongong Shoalhaven Campus, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance and many local community groups and businesses who share a passion for delivering a road safety message to our youth.
Over 7000 students have attended U Turn the Wheel since the first session in 1999 and the community congratulates Rotary for its dedication and commitment to community issues such as road safety.
* Keeping your L’s and P’s
* Real life crash consequences
* Driving skills and accident types
* The effects of alcohol and drugs
* What to do at a crash site
* How to reduce your risk
The students were encouraged to interact in the sessions and to develop their knowledge on road safety behaviour.
For the volunteers that give their time freely to assist this group of drivers and potential drivers, it was rewarding to be part of a program that sees the community coming together to help reduce the devastating number of road traumas.
A 17-year-old driver with a P1 licence is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver over 26 years.
Driving at night (after 10pm) and carrying passengers also increases the crash risk significantly.
The biggest killer of young drivers is speeding and around 80 per cent of those killed are male.
Young drivers are over-represented in all fatal crashes, including drink driving and fatigue.
Despite making up only 15 per cent of drivers, young drivers represent around 36 per cent of annual road fatalities.
For more information on U Turn the Wheel go to www.uturnthewheel.com or Contact Paul Goodwin on 0409 000232 or Polly Hill on 0405 445138.