Pepperell High student group receives state grant
Pepperell High student group receives state grant
Posted on 12/11/2012
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Too many Georgia high schools make headlines because young drivers die at the wheel each year.  The incidents plunge entire student populations, school staffs and communities into sudden grief and disbelief?  Car crashes remain the number-one cause of death for teens and drivers ages 15-19. 

One student group at Pepperell High School is working to reduce the risk to students.  The Pepperell Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) has received a $2,500.00 Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).  The grant will enhance Pepperell High's existing SADD chapter with the idea that student input into the solution will help alleviate the problem of teen driver fatalities in Georgia.   

The Pepperell High School SADD chapter plans to continue educating their school as well as the Rome/Floyd County Community on driving safety.  Students reach out through seat belt checks, car seat safety checks, homecoming safety activities, prom safety promotions, and other events.  The Pepperell High School SADD Chapters major event is the ‘Just Drive’ Safe Driving Expo that is presented each April.  The upcoming 2013 Driving Expo will be their 4
th annual event and will be held in the Kmart parking lot at Turner McCall and Hicks Drive.

These activities are vital because teens have a higher rate of crashes with injuries and fatalities than adult and elderly drivers. In 2010, there were 127 roadway fatalities among persons ages 15-20 in Georgia. That represents 10 percent of all fatalities for the year. Male teen drivers and passengers are also twice as likely as their female counterparts to die in a vehicle crash.  “The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to changing the tragic trend of teen driver deaths in Georgia,” “We’re here to make changes, and I believe the SADD students at Pepperell High School can help us achieve the goal of lowering teen driver, crash, injury and fatality rates statewide,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood.  

Peer influence is the perfect way to address this important issue by getting the teens themselves involved in finding solutions to the high rate of accidents in this age group," stated Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaniel.  “The PHS SADD teens have demonstrated they can be very effective in convincing their peers to make better decisions.”

In addition to school safety activities, the Pepperell High School SADD chapter will send its president and faculty advisor to a statewide leadership-training program each fall along with the representative from other high schools that received similar grants.

For more information on SADD grants, contact: Eshon Poythress at 404-657-1955,

Photo: Participant in the PHS SADD 2012 Driving Expo navigates a simulated driving course.