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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Local Road Safety Education Program receives National Recognition

Since 2017 (including Covid lockdowns), 28 people have been killed in the Eurobodalla on our roads and hundreds now have to live with severe or moderate injuries.

Road trauma is definitely a local community challenge as two thirds of these people are from the Eurobodalla.

Since 2008, Rotary in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma have been addressing the impacts of road trauma by educating our teenagers to be better drivers and passengers.

Nearly 3000 Year 11 students from every high school in the Eurobodalla Shire have now attended the RYDA driver awareness course run by Rotary.

This week the Eurobodalla RYDA course received national recognition by receiving the 2022 Toyota Community Award in recognition of an outstanding commitment to youth road safety education.

‘The excellence in road safety education awards are part of National Road Safety Week each year’ said Jade Cowan, Dealer/Principal of Batemans Bay Toyota.

‘They recognise people and organisations who passionately provide Road Safety Education’s flagship Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program for High School students across Australia’.

More than 610,000 students across Australia have participated in RYDA in the 21 years since the program started in 2001.

In accepting the award, Neil Simpson, RYDA organiser and member of Rotary Batemans Bay said ‘It is very pleasing that Eurobodalla RYDA has been selected for the community award as we are a small group of local volunteers who each year willingly give our time and expertise to deliver RYDA to our local school students’.

‘This National award is fitting recognition of the dozens of Rotarians and community volunteers who help with RYDA every year. This includes local bus companies, the Moruya Jockey Club, driving schools, NSW Police, Eurobodalla Shire Council and the three Rotary clubs’ he said.

RYDA is an award winning, evidence based, interactive program written and resourced for Australian students by Road Safety Education Ltd (

‘Parents of students who attend Batemans Bay High School, St Peters Anglican College, Carroll College, Moruya High School and Narooma High School should ensure their Year 11 student attends RYDA when it is held in April each year’ said Mr Simpson.

Batemans Bay Toyota will financially support RYDA for the next five years ensuring its longevity in the Eurobodalla.

Above: Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips with Rotarian and RYDA Organiser, Neil Simpson, Dealer/Principal of Batemans Bay Toyota Jade Cowan and John Elliott, National Program Manager for Road Safety Education Ltd at the presentation at the Rotary Club of Batemans Bay on Thursday night.

Above: Neil Simpson, RYDA Organiser with three of the presenters at RYDA, Kate McDougall (Eurobodalla Shire Council Road Safety Education Officer), Sgt Angus Duncombe (NSW Police) and Sean Burgess (Bay Beginners Driving School) at the presentation this week.


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