Young drivers prepared before getting behind the wheel thanks to Geraldton Rotary education sessions

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
The Rotary Club crew preparing to teach young drivers.
Camera IconThe Rotary Club crew preparing to teach young drivers. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Young people can feel overwhelmed as they prepare for the rite of passage of getting their licence but the newfound freedom can come at a high price.

That’s why the Rotary Club of Geraldton has been educating young drivers for more than seven years.

The latest education initiative is taking place on Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11, at the Towns Football Club, where schools from Dongara, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Morawa and Mullewa come together to attend the Rotary WA Driver Educations Regional Program to learn what to expect when approaching the road for the first time.

Rotary Club co-ordinator Di Gilleland said she believed in the importance of educating students in the Mid West on road safety and awareness.

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“I wish I did something like this when I was learning to drive,” Ms Gilleland said.

“The students can sit in the seat of a road train so they understand truck drivers cannot see like normal drivers can, and drive a car to understand the distance it takes before coming to a complete stop.”

Miners Logistics superintendent Ray Urwin said that although technology in long vehicles helped to find faults, caravans parking on the side of the road were a big issue for drivers and education was needed to prevent accidents on rural roads.

“The cameras in our trucks make us very fortunate, but it’s important that parents get involved in the program,” Mr Urwin said.

Mayor Shane Van Styn said he welcomed the Rotary Club’s program, and the City of Greater Geraldton was able to fund the cause through SmartyGrants.

“It’s important we pick up these small community grants,” Mr Van Styn said.

Ms Gilleland said this was Geraldton’s 18th program and she expected about 300 students over the two-day event. She also encouraged parents to come along.

“The event includes great information, even for passengers. It makes them aware when travelling on rural roads,” she said.

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