Accidents can occur on the road at any time, no matter how good or experienced the driver is.
But the RYDA program run at Frogs Hollow on Tuesday aimed to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur on roads by improving young drivers’ awareness of what factors can cause a crash.
About 130 students from the Far South Coast attended the event, including from Bega High School and the Sapphire Coast Anglican College with Eden Marine High School and Lumen Christi Catholic College scheduled to attend on Wednesday.
“It’s really educational,” Bega High student Melody Walker said.
“It’s all the stories, hearing the impact they’ve had on the families and friends and how it changed all their lives.”
The 16-year-old’s friend and fellow student Rachel Smedley said she had learnt accidents could occur at any time and it did not have to be your fault.
“The safest driver can still be in an accident,” she said.
Two of the most memorable presenters were John Perry of Bega and Maggie Bramich, formerly of Merimbula, both who shared their stories of car accidents.
Thirteen years ago Mr Perry and a work colleague were driving across the Corunna River Bridge near Narooma when their van was hit head on by a car travelling 130kmh.
He died three times and was told he would never walk again from his injuries, but after intensive rehabilitation he has regained the use of his legs.
“If you’re going to drive a car and you’re going to drive like an idiot, someone is going to die,” Mr Perry said.
While Ms Bramich was 14 she went camping at Nethercote Falls with some friends, where she took a turn to drive a car on a dirt road and slid into a tree.
One of her friends in the car broke her neck, but she is now recovering.
“I used to think ‘that won’t happen to me’. But it does. And it happens in a split second,” Ms Bramich said.
The Rotary Club of Bega partnered with industry leader Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) to bring the award-winning RYDA youth road safety program to the students.
It has been run near Bega for 11 years and this year welcomed the 5000th student to attend the program during its time.