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Fifteen to 24-year-olds represent 15 per cent of the population yet accounted for 24 per cent of the 321 road fatalities last year. Although the road toll in this demographic has dropped 52 per cent over the past 10 years there is still work to be done, according to Road Safety Education programme manager Simone Randle. West Auckland high schools and the team from Road Safety Education are tackling the issue head on. 

The RYDA programme sees high schools across the country take part in an intensive day-long course which aims to change the way young drivers think on the roads and provide safety strategies. To date 36,000 senior students have graduated from the programme. 

This includes seeing first-hand the impact speed can have on stopping distances and meeting crash survivors to learn how serious crashes have changed their lives. 

Evidence suggests that young people are most at risk of being involved in a serious crash in the first six months after transitioning from being a supervised learner to an independent provisional driver.

If they don't go through the licensing process the risks are immeasurable, Randle says.

Also worrying is the fact that although 15 per cent of the population identify as Maori, they made up 50 per cent of road fatalities involving speed or alcohol in the past decade. 

Source: Stuff

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