SADD program is awarded a highway safety grant
Pepperell SADD program is awarded a highway safety grant
Posted on 12/14/2011
​Far too often Georgia high schools make headlines because young drivers die at the wheel, plunging entire student populations into sudden grief and disbelief? High schools in Floyd County are all too familiar with such tragedy. In an effort to involve Georgia students in reducing injury and death to young drivers, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded a $1,900.00 highway safety grant to Pepperell High School to enhance their existing Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter. GOHS believes that student input into the solution will help reduce the number of teen driver fatalities in Georgia. 

Car crashes remain the Number One cause of death for teens and inexperienced young drivers, ages 15-19, have a higher rate of crashes, injuries and fatalities than adult and elderly drivers. In just the first half of this school year, our schools in Floyd County have been impacted by teens injured in major automobile accidents. In 2008, there were 134 fatalities, 13,968 injuries and 85,297 crashes that involved 15-19 year-olds on Georgia’s roadways. According to the most recent data (2008), 41percent of the 15-19 year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed or seriously injured were unrestrained. The inexperience and immaturity of younger drivers are thought to be major contributing factors in the higher fatality rate. (Georgia Accident Reporting Crash Data). 

“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to changing the tragic trend of teen driver deaths in Georgia,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas. “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, crashes, injury and fatality rates statewide.” By having a comprehensive effort statewide, GOHS/SADD plans to cover teen driving issues including safety belt use, speed, inexperience, and impaired driving in a coordinated manner. Participating schools will focus on a variety of highway safety issues throughout the school year.

The Pepperell High School SADD chapter plans multiple activities related to safe driving during the school year. The Pepperell SADD group’s major driving event this year will be The 3rd Annual Rome/Floyd County Safe Teen Driving Expo. The driving expo is a public event that will be held on April 14, 2012. The event was a huge success last year with students participating in several driving demonstrations that including a course to point out the dangers of texting while driving. “We want drivers to realize that they are driving a 3,000+ pound vehicle and that’s all they should be doing,” said Alana Ellenburg, PHS SADD advisor and Driving Expo Coordinator. “We want to show drivers in a controlled situation that multi-tasking is never good while driving.” 

The Pepperell High School SADD chapter will also send its president and advisor to a statewide leadership-training program this fall along with the representative from other high schools that received similar grants. “Who better to address the challenges and dangers of teen driving than teens themselves, said Dallas? “I am confident these SADD students can convince their peers to be safer, more conscientious drivers.”

For more information on how to obtain a $2,000 SADD grant, contact: Eshon Poythress at 404-657-1955, epoythress@gohs.ga.gov