Keeping Safe Wins Best School Program Award

Blue Datto’s Keeping Safe Program was named Best School Program at the 2017 Australian Road Safety Awards in March, overcoming 14 other finalists to take out the accolade.

Blue Datto’s CEO Erin Vassallo was in Melbourne to accept the award on behalf of the Foundation and said that the Foundation was extremely grateful to receive such an award.

Keeping Safe was recognised for its innovative approach to road safety including the way it aims to help change attitudes and behaviours and empower young drivers to make safer, smarter decision.

Blue Datto’s use of Peer Mentors, who help deliver the program, is also extremely innovative – helping the Keeping Safe program stand out from the crowd.

The Australian Road Safety Awards program presented by Caltex Australia was extremely competitive with finalists representing a broad spectrum of community, government and industry organisations and individuals.

The Australian Road Safety Foundation designed the Awards program to help raise general awareness about road and driver safety and to promote strategies and initiatives that address road safety issues across all sectors.

Blue Datto in the News

Blue Datto is extremely grateful for the ongoing support we receive from local and national media who help us raise awareness and tell our story. In case you missed them, here are some recent stories featuring the Blue Datto Foundation.

A Current Affair

 

Sydney Morning Herald

Secondhand danger: Old cars increase risk for younger drivers, research shows By Julie Power 

NSW’s youngest and most at-risk drivers are continuing to drive vehicles older than 10 years, which tests have shown may quadruple their chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crashNearly 80 per cent of young drivers under 20 who died and 71 per cent of those who seriously injured in car crashes on the state’s roads in the past five years were driving cars older than 10 years, an expert from the NSW Centre for Road Safety told a seminar of safety experts last week.

Nearly 80 per cent of young drivers under 20 who died and 71 per cent of those who seriously injured in car crashes on the state’s roads in the past five years were driving cars older than 10 years, an expert from the NSW Centre for Road Safety told a seminar of safety experts last week.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Central Coast Express Advocate

Blue Datto road safety campaign revs up on the Coast By Richard Noone

They are two top rankings the Central Coast could well do without. There have been 146 ­“novice drivers” — motorists on their L or P plates — clocked travelling more than 45km/h over the signposted limit so far this year in NSW. Nine were charged in the Brisbane Water command, ranking the area the third worst in NSW only behind Cootamundra with 11 and the Hume command, covering Goulburn and surrounds, with 28. And, according to crash data, the Central Coast ranks second in the State for the most fatalities and serious injuries over the past five years.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Penrith Press

Family drive home important message to save lives on roads By Kurt Gardoll

The Vassallo family are offering so much to teenagers after losing so much themselves three years ago. Mother Colleen and daughter Lauren both run the Blue Datto Foundation, visiting high schools to teach the importance of driver safety to teenagers. They started the foundation after son and brother, Philip, was killed, aged just 17, while driving his beloved blue Datsun ute in July 2014.

Click here to read the full article.

Keeping Safe targeting the Central Coast

Central Coast Launch

In late May the Blue Datto Foundation was pleased to launch its programs on the Central Cost – a region that continues to be devastated by young fatalities on its roads.

Beginning with a series of free community and parent programs over Winter, Blue Datto will now focus on delivering its first school-based Keeping Safe programs in Term 4 hoping to help get the message out to vulnerable young drivers.

“Sadly we have seen a number of fatalities up here on the Central Coast courtesy of what is speeding, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, driving fatigued or distracted by mobile phones. These lives are being lost needlessly courtesy of selfish driving behaviour,” said NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Chief Inspector Phillip Brooks at the launch.

“Given the significant presence on the Central Coast that young drivers have our message is quite strong – we need to partner with agencies such as Blue Datto to make sure that young drivers know what the risks are.”

“This is a very important step in road safety, right throughout the NSW Central Coast, if not the entire state.”

Until now Blue Datto has been delivering programs in Western Sydney and the Hawkesbury regions, however in direct response to the number of tragic deaths on Coast roads, the Foundation set its sights on the Central Coast.

“A lot of our staff are Central Coast residents and it seems every month we’re seeing more and more lives lost. If you look at data from the last five years the Central Coast ranks second in the state for the most fatalities and serious injuries- and we need to do more locally to change this,” said Blue Datto CEO Erin Vassallo.

Blue Datto is looking for local Central Coast businesses who may be in a position to sponsor Keeping Safe programs for local schools.

For further information contact us at <a href=”mailto:info@bluedatto.org.au”>info@bluedatto.org.au</a>.

Blue Datto is launching on the Central Coast

On Wednesday 31st May 2017 the Blue Datto Foundation will celebrate the launch of its award-winning road safety education program on the Central Coast. With more and more lives being lost on our roads, it’s time for the Central Coast to begin a new conversation about Keeping Safe™.

Bring your family and friends along to enjoy a casual High Tea at Mingara Recreation Club, while we tell you all about Blue Datto and our plans to help protect local lives.

Any money raised from the event will help fund Keeping Safe™ programs for the Central Coast.

Buy your tickets here!

For more information please email info@bluedatto.org.au.

We hope to see you there!

Central Coast Launch Invitation

24 May 2017 at Windsor – Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers

Join the Blue Datto team as we present the Transport for NSW program ‘Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers‘.  This is for parents, guardians, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends, anyone who is looking to teach someone to drive!  Also please bring along your Learner driver if you can.  It is free to attend, and catering will be provided, but please register here to reserve your place.

Date:  24 May 2017

Place:  Bede Polding Colleg, South Windsor

Time:  6.30pm to 8.30pm (catering included)

Penrith Panthers with MG: Helping Learner Drivers Become Safe Drivers – 7 June 2017

Join our Ambassador MG from the Triple M Grill Team as Blue Datto presents the Transport for NSW program ‘Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers‘.  This is for parents, guardians, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends, anyone who is looking to teach someone to drive!  Also please bring along your Learner driver if you can.  It is free to attend, and catering will be provided, but please register here to reserve your place.

Date:  7 June 2017

Place:  Penrith Panthers – Woodriff Room

Time:  from 6pm for a 6.30pm start to 8.30pm

Service NSW Richmond Fundraiser BBQ

In May 2016, Service NSW Richmond held a smokin’ sausage sizzle to help raise awareness and funds for Blue Datto. It was a great success, attended by Minister Dominic Perrottet, Rugby League legend and Triple M host, Mark Geyer, Blue Datto and lots of the local community.

Minister Dominic Perrottet with Service NSW Manager Christine Kosorukow, CEO Rachna Gandhi, Lauren Northern and Colleen Vassallo from Blue Datto, Rugby League legend Mark Geyer, and Richmond Manager Danielle Abela.
Minister Dominic Perrottet with Service NSW Manager Christine Kosorukow, CEO Rachna Gandhi, Lauren Northern and Colleen Vassallo from Blue Datto, Rugby League legend Mark Geyer, and Richmond Manager Danielle Abela.
Service NSW Richmond’s Paul Buckley, Manager Danielle Abela, Shandelle Lee and Tracey Grace, join Lauren Northern and Colleen Vassallo from Blue Datto at the Richmond Service NSW Blue Datto Fundraising BBQ.
Service NSW Richmond’s Paul Buckley, Manager Danielle Abela, Shandelle Lee and Tracey Grace, join Lauren Northern and Colleen Vassallo from Blue Datto at the Richmond Service NSW Blue Datto Fundraising BBQ.

Fit2Drive at Bede Polding College 23 November 2015

On 23 November, Blue Datto showcased its first behavioural road safety program to Year 10 students at Bede Polding College, South Windsor, teaching them how to speak up and get out of difficult situations as they become drivers and passengers in peer driven cars.

The program was presented to over 220 students, by peer facilitators in work shop sessions, and provided opportunities for interaction and sharing ideas, small and large group discussions. In addition, there were presentations about the issues for young drivers and passengers including a presentation on a real life case study.

Following the F2D program, Grace Vassallo & Lauren Northen (Philip’s sister) spoke about Phil and why the foundation was formed, and how important and relevant this program is to the students. Videorecordings from Blue Datto’s Ambassadors Liz Ellis and Mark Geyer were also presented, sending their messages of support. They also emphasised the importance of how a change in behaviour and attitude towards driving is needed and is a must, every single time you’re in a motor vehicle, either as a driver or passenger.

Blue Tie Gala Dinner 24 October 2015

Our Inaugural Gala Dinner fundraising night was held on 24 October at the Hawkesbury Race Club. With over 320 guests in attendance, live auctions, prizes, perfect weather with a wonderful community atmosphere and great food, everyone had a terrific night.

Thank you to all our guests, family, friends and supporters for your contributions, we raised an amazing $74,000. All money raised goes towards funding our driver education safety awareness program , which will be delivered throughout NSW schools, commencing in 2016.

MC for the evening Mr Chris Brown our Patron, ensured everything ran smoothly , and our auctioneers kept everyone entertained. Keynote speakers for the night included The Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP; Mark Geyer, Triple M presenter and NRL legend, and Graham Spencer, Fit2Drive Victoria.

We’d like to thank Cutcliffe Real Estate for sponsoring the Gala Dinner, and Black Castle Events for presenting the evenings events. Thank you also to our sponsors who continue to support us throughout the year.

Launch News

Blue Datto Foundation Limited was officially launched on 6 March 2015 by The Hon. Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services. We were so proud of the way it turned out. We were on Channel 9 News (thanks to Dimity Clancy for a wonderful story), in the SMH on Saturday 7 March and a number of other online publications including NRMA and interviewed on radio.

It was a great start to the foundation with an impressive speaker list including: our MC Christopher Brown AM (Blue Datto Patron); Liz Ellis AM Ambassador for Blue Datto; Betty Klimenko as Patron for Blue Datto; Scott Weber, President of the NSW Police Association; Coral Taylor, Director of NRMA; Kerry Chikarovski, former NSW Opposition Leader; Kevin Jones, Principal of Bede Polding College; Greg Whitby (Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta), and of course the representatives for Blue Datto Foundation Lauren Northen and Grace Vassallo. Also in attendance were NSW Minister for Finance The Hon. Dominic Perrottet; The Hon. Ray Williams, Hawkesbury Mayor Clr Kim Ford; Penrith Mayor Cr Ross Fowler; The Hills Shire Council – Clr Mark Taylor on behalf of the Mayor and many others.

Why we started Blue Datto: Statistics show that nearly one driver under twenty years old dies and sixty are injured on NSW roads each week. This needs to change. Please support us by Donating and becoming a Friend of Blue Datto.

NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, The Hon. Stuart Ayres, said,“While deaths on NSW roads are falling overall, young drivers are still over-represented in the number of road fatalities. Twenty-one percent of people involved in fatal crashes in 2013 were aged 17-25 years, despite this age group accounting for just 14 percent of licence holders – the NSW Government is determined to change that.”

Also in attendance at the launch was President of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber who has commended the Blue Datto Foundation, “As police officers we see the carnage and horrible waste of young lives sometimes under horrific crash circumstances.

“The impact on families, entire communities and all first responders is truly devastating and long-lasting. Any road safety initiative that keeps young people safe on our roads has our support. Education is vital in preventing more deaths and injury to younger drivers and all road users.”

Liz Ellis, Ambassador for the Blue Datto Foundation, said the Blue Datto Foundation will help schools deliver a behavioural road safety program for Year 10 students in NSW, while a complementary program will be available for parents.

“Road accidents don’t just cost these young people their lives, but the emotional and monetary cost to families, emergency services and the wider community is significant. Access Economics estimate that medical, social support, loss of productivity, emergency services and other costs following an accident involving young people to be well in excess of $1 billion per year. The program highlights that every person in the car has a role to play – the driver, their driving teacher and the passengers,” Ms Ellis said.

National Roads & Motorists’ Association Local Director, Coral Taylor who will be attending the launch welcomed the important work of the Blue Datto Foundation, “The NRMA has been working within schools for years to teach young people the importance of road safety and we know how important the work of the Blue Datto Foundation will be to keeping young drivers safe”.

“The Vassallo family have shown great strength to embark on this crucial work and we commend the Police Association of NSW for supporting this cause. Ultimately, it will help young people and their families better understand the risks that come with driving,” Ms Taylor said.

Thank you to our sponsors, launch attendees and the community for the support you have shown to Blue Datto Foundation.

Yours in Keeping Safe
Erin Vassallo CEO & Colleen Vassallo GM
(Co-Founders of Blue Datto Foundation Ltd)