Media Release – RYDA Celebrates 100000 Students in New Zealand

Provided by Road Safety Education Limited

PO Box 12876, Penrose, Auckland 1642

Contact: [email protected]

Tel: 021 545 030

RYDA Celebrates its 100,000th Graduate

In 2006 Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) launched the RYDA programme in NZ with the support of The Rotary Club of Takapuna. Since then, RSE has expanded its programme to cover over 160 high schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill.  On Wednesday the 7th June, RSE will welcome their 100,000th student to their workshop at Ashburton College in Ashburton.

RSE’s 17-year journey to this day hasn’t been easy and has come about due to perseverance through external challenges such as the Christchurch earthquake, COVID and a number of severe weather events. However, when RYDA started schools told them they wanted to see a best practice programme that was around for the long haul so they could confidently build it into their curriculums.  Schools know when participating in the programme RSE will be back every year.  This consistency has meant very few schools drop off the programme and 96% believe it should be compulsory in schools.

As the General Manager for RSE in NZ, Maria Lovelock says: “The RYDA programme is contributing to saving young people’s lives on the roads. We applaud schools for committing to this educational programme for their students despite the challenges they face at times.”

RSE was formed because getting behind the wheel of a car, both as a driver and a passenger, is one of the most dangerous things a young person can do with young people overrepresented in the deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads.  “While statistics have improved there is still more work to be done and any life lost is unacceptable” says Lovelock.

Launching in 2006 would not have been possible without the support of BOC and NZ Steel who came on as founding sponsors and enabled the organisation to launch and have continued to support the RYDA programme ever since.  BOC General Manager Cory Spence says: “We are so proud to be associated with this great programme and to have been able to contribute to its success for the past 17 years.”

“100,000 students is an unbelievable achievement and we have been excited to see its progression since it started in 2006 with only a few hundred students” adds Vicki Woodley, Manager External Affairs for NZ Steel.

Today, RYDA is made possible due to the support of our original partners, along with Bridgestone, VTNZ and Toyota NZ.  Another key contributor to RSE’s success has been Rotary Clubs around NZ who have been community partner volunteers at the RYDA workshops and also donate funds so schools can take part for a reduced fee.

In reference to these partners, Lovelock says: “With 13,000 students participating just this year alone, we are very appreciative of this support as it has enabled us to expand the programme into more school communities and continue to keep the cost for students attending very low.”  It costs approximately $50 per student to provide the programme but students on average pay only $9 of this cost nationally.


Why RYDA is important for new drivers and their passengers?

Drivers are at their highest risk of being involved in a crash during their first year of driving unsupervised. Often it isn’t only them but it is their passengers who are killed or injured when a mistake is made.

A range of factors have been linked to the higher rate of injuries and deaths caused by young drivers. These include driver inexperience, risky driving behaviours such as speeding, driving while fatigued, driving without a seatbelt and driving smaller and/or older vehicles with fewer safety features.  The risk of crashing diminishes with experience plus the development of decision-making skills so they can recognise risky situations and make safer choices.  The RYDA programme teaches all of these skills and is aimed specifically at people of senior high school age.

The RYDA programme includes a full day workshop of practical and powerful sessions about road safety. Supporting the workshop is a range of resources for students and teachers to use including an online digital revision course, pre-workshop classwork and follow-up modules on a range of road safety topics which schools can pick and choose from and build into their curriculum.

The RYDA programme helps young drivers to plan their journey and gives them strategies to avoid risk and the resilience and motivation to implement those strategies. It teaches passengers how to contribute positively to the car’s environment and speak up if they’re uncomfortable and to use the road with social responsibility.


Media and Photo Opportunities:

The Ashburton workshop will be held tomorrow at Hotel Ashburton with Ashburton College from 9:30 – 2:00pm and we would welcome local media to attend.  To confirm attendance please contact Naomh Cusin on [email protected] or Mobile 021 545 285


About Road Safety Education: a not-for-profit organisation which runs best practice road safety programmes for young people throughout New Zealand and Australia.  Every year over 50,000 young people attend the programme which aims to change the way they think and act on the roads, both as drivers and passengers. To date over 100,000 young people have attended RYDA in New Zealand.  For more information, visit or email to [email protected]