Using Road Safety as an Authentic Context for Classroom Learning



Getting behind the wheel of a car as a young driver or being a young passenger with a novice driver is said to be among the most dangerous things that a person will do in their entire life.

What would it take to ensure your students have the tools and understanding to see themselves as active, responsible road citizens and make the necessary choices to keep themselves and others safe on the road?


Your students’ participation in RYDA, which is designed to be interactive, personalised and  engaging, is a step in that direction. However long term change will only be realised where educational materials support each other and key messages are repeated over time.

The design, delivery and approach of this education can have a major effect on how deeply it is learned and to what extend mental models can be change.  Included below is some background information to help you include road safety in your school curriculum.

Use the jumplinks below to navigate through the page:

Linking RYDA Directly to Curriculum Teaching
Best Practice in Road Safety
RYDA – A Teacher’s Guide
RYDA Supporting School Curricula – General Capabilities (Aus) & Key Competencies (NZ)
Authentic Learning Trumps Fear Tactics
A Review of Behaviour Change Techniques for Road Safety Interventions

Linking RYDA directly to Curriculum Teaching

RYDA is designed to align closely with and support messaging in the school curriculum.  Here we’ve compiled a list of links between RYDA sessions and government produced curriculum resources.  These links are also outlined in the RYDA Teacher’s Companion.  Download Australian Curriculum Links | Download New Zealand Curriculum Links.

Best Practice in Road Safety Education

Choosing road safety education programs and tools that support your classroom lessons is a bit like selecting a safe car – you should only choose a program that performs best when bench-marked against what research indicates will produce the best outcome for students. Most jurisdictions across Australia and New Zealand have published guidelines or principles on what constitutes ‘Best Practice’ for youth road safety education.  Here is a summary of the do’s and don’ts of road safety education.

RYDA – A Teacher’s Guide

For a quick but comprehensive overview of what RYDA is, how it works and how it can support you in delivering road safety messages to your students, scroll through our Teacher’s Guide to RYDA.

RYDA Supporting the Broader School Curricula – General Capabilities & Key Competencies

Curricula in Australia and New Zealand prescribe road safety-related topics in Health/PE (eg. safety, well-being), Science (eg. reaction time, speed and acceleration), Maths (eg. stopping distance, speed measurement), English (eg. research methods, visual language, personal writing, drama) and other subjects. It also allows teachers to choose contexts in all learning areas, and to support General Capabilities (Australia), and Key Competencies (NZ).  Download this document to see how the RYDA program fits the Australian and New Zealand school curriculum.

Authentic Learning Trumps Fear Tactics

An article by Mary Chamberlain, a New Zealand road safety education consultant,  on alternatives to using fear tactics with senior secondary students using road safety as an authentic context  to apply curriculum learning.  The article speaks to curriculum resources available in New Zealand.  Australian state and territory governments have created similar curriculum resources to support schools in delivering effective road safety education.  Read the article here.

A Review of Behaviour Change Techniques for Road Safety Interventions

Developing road safety interventions is an intensive and time-consuming activity and it is essential to develop interventions that work. This guide, commissioned by the RAC Foundation in the UK, pulls together advice in one place with a step-by-step process for the design and delivery of interventions using behaviour change techniques (BCT).  RYDA aligns with the BCTs outlined in the guide.  Read the guide here.