Empowering young people to make good choices on the roads was the focus of workshops held in Bega for hundreds of high school students in May.
Rotary hosted its annual Youth Driver Awareness program (RYDA) for around 550 Year 11 students from high schools around the Bega Valley, Monaro, Eurobodalla and East Gippsland.  They were hosted by Rotary club members from Bega, Merimbula, Pambula and helpers from Narooma.
RYDA targets 16-18 year old high school students when they are starting to drive or ride in vehicles driven by their friends. 
"We run lots of youth programs and this important one is to help young students to become better drivers," said Rotary Bega club president Dorothea Polonyi.
Various workshops were held throughout the day, with talks from local police about licences, demerit points and speeding, as well as outreach talks from car crash survivors and family members of victims.
“The support of Rotary Clubs means that this award winning program can be run in regional communities, by local road safety and education professionals, including the police, said Eric Johnston, long time Rotary volunteer with the program.  “RYDA isn’t a driving course but a series of practical and powerful workshops for high school students aged between 16 and 18.  The focus is on attitude and awareness – empowering young people to make good choices.” Mr Johnston said.
An estimated 6000 students have been hosted in Bega for RYDA over 15 years.