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Toyota NZ proud to support safer communities through road safety education programme


One year on, Toyota New Zealand continues its support of Road Safety Education Limited’s RYDA programme to accelerate national progress in reducing road deaths by providing world-class safety education to Kiwi rangatahi (young people).

RYDA provides a ‘whole of school’ approach through an engaging and memorable one-day workshop led by trained facilitators, including police, driving instructors, and community specialists, supported by online learning and classroom resources to high school students throughout the nation.

Toyota New Zealand Assistant Vice President, Susanne Hardy says Toyota NZ aims to help drive safer communities by ensuring young people have the knowledge and skills to make safer choices on the road.

The three-year partnership will see Toyota NZ provide $225,000 in funding to support RYDA’s school education programmes, as well as providing four Toyota Corolla Cross hybrids for use by the RYDA team throughout New Zealand.

“Young drivers aged between 16 and 24 are at far greater risk of being involved in fatal or serious injury crashes. Devastatingly, over the past 10 years, around 7,000 young people aged 16-24 were killed or seriously injured on our roads. The social cost of road crashes is huge, amounting to $11.6 billion* annually for New Zealand, but this pales in comparison to the immense human cost—lost loved ones, friends, parents, and children,” says Susanne.

The RYDA programme makes a tangible impact to New Zealand communities by contributing to a reduction in deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s roads.

“At Toyota, we recognise that community support and road safety are critical issues for building safer communities and we support RYDA in guiding students to become active, responsible road citizens,” adds Susanne.

“We are thrilled to announce that 170 schools across New Zealand, 41% of schools in NZ, have participated in RYDA workshops over the past year, and we expect 15,000 students to go through the programme in the coming 12 months —a remarkable 34% increase from last year,” says Susanne.

Through a student inquiry learning approach, RYDA integrates into school culture, providing essential tools, habits, and motivation to keep young drivers and passengers safe throughout their lives.

Road Safety Education Limited New Zealand General Manager, Maria Lovelock says that it has been wonderful to have the additional support from Toyota during the past year which has been essential to support the growth of the programme around the country.

“Together, Toyota NZ and Road Safety Education Limited are contributing to a reduction in deaths and serious injuries on our roads, especially focused on youth,” says Maria.

“Despite making up less than 12% of NZ’s licence holders, drivers 16-25 years were found to be primarily responsible for 33% of crashes resulting in deaths or serious injury. However, it doesn’t need to be this way and many rangatahi are keen to make good decisions and set themselves up for success on the roads.”

“We are excited that this year through Toyota’s support, we have launched a parent programme called Drive Coach which adds a further layer of support for these vulnerable young people and will help the whole family get on the same page and be safer road users.” she adds.

Drive Coach is an extension of RYDA, designed to inform and empower parents and caregivers with young drivers on best practices for coaching a driver. It aims to provide parents and carers with the knowledge and tools they need to guide their young drivers and ensure their safety on the road. Now more than ever we need to be investing time in our young people and our next generation of drivers and their passengers.

The first Drive Coach programme will be held in Hamilton on May 28th with the support of Ebbett Toyota. This is a free event with more details here: Drive Coach - helping you support your teen driver - Road Safety Education (

Take action this Road Safety Week by spreading awareness and practicing safe driving habits. 

The Road Safety Education Limited New Zealand RYDA programme is Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency approved.

*As per the Ministry of Transport 2023 report; Social cost of road crashes and injuries | Ministry of Transport.