Awards Teen Driver Safety Grant
Governor’s Office Of Highway Safety Awards Teen Driver Safety Grant To Pepperell High
Posted on 11/03/2009
PEPPERELL HIGH SCHOOL SADD – Students Against Destructive Decisions 
Alana Ellenburg, Advisor: 706-236-1844, School Phone 

Many Georgia high schools will make headlines this year when young drivers die at the wheel? Fatal teen crashes plunge entire Georgia communities and their student populations into sudden periods of grief and disbelief. Despite news of these tragedies, automobile crashes remain the number one cause of death for teens across the country.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) are seeking to make a life or death difference in our schools. As part of an ongoing program to involve students in efforts to reduce injury and death to young drivers, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded a $2,000.00 highway safety grant to Pepperell High School in Lindale, Georgia, to enhance their existing SADD chapter. GOHS believes that student involvement in highway safety solutions like SADD can help reduce the problem of teen driver fatalities in Georgia.

“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. “The fact is that the rate of teen driver deaths in Georgia and across the country needs to change and it needs to change now. I believe this active SADD chapter at Pepperell High School can help us achieve our lifesaving goal of lowering teen driver crash, injury and fatality rates statewide. Who better to help address the challenges and dangers of teen driving than teens themselves? I’m confident these SADD student safety advocates can help convince their peers to be safer, more conscientious drivers.”

Georgia crash data confirms our youngest drivers, ages 15-to-19, have the highest rate of crashes, injuries and fatalities--Higher than adult or elderly drivers. During 2008, this 15-to-19 year old driver age group was involved in more than 85-thousand crashes on Georgia roadways that resulted in nearly 14-thousand injured teens and 134 teen highway deaths. 

Tragically, the most recent 2008 DOT crash data shows 41% of those Georgia teens who were killed or seriously injured weren’t wearing safety belts. The inexperience and immaturity of these younger drivers is believed to be a major contributing factor in their higher fatality rate. 

With this comprehensive statewide effort GOHS and its SADD partners plan to coordinate key teen driving issues including operator inexperience, speed, safety belt use, and impaired driving. Participating schools focus on a variety of highway safety issues throughout the school year.

The Pepperell High SADD chapter has already been very active this school year. In September, they participated in the Lindale Community Focus/Clean-Up Week and held their first seatbelt check of the year. At the beginning of October, Pepperell SADD won 1st place in the Coosa Valley Fair for their exhibit “The Effects of Prescription Drugs”. Floyd Against Drugs (FAD) requested that Pepperell SADD display their winning exhibit at the Rome/Floyd County Community Forum on Drugs the following week where the Co-President of Pepperell SADD, Tatum Grady and her Father, also spoke. Pepperell SADD has also promoted National Teen Driving Safety Week at the school and SADD members have helped by mentoring students at McHenry Primary’s Fall Festival. This past Saturday the Pepperell SADD participated in the 1st Annual Teen Expo sponsored by FAD and Northwest Georgia Public Health at the Boys & Girls Club. Pepperell SADD’s future plans include helping with the Pepperell Primary DragonFest, Red Ribbon Week Activities, participating in the Rome Christmas Parade, and another seatbelt check. Additional activities will be planned for the second part of the school year at upcoming meetings. In addition, the Pepperell High SADD chapter will send its co-presidents and advisor to a GOHS statewide leadership-training program to coordinate with other high school SADD chapter representatives. If you are interested in becoming involved or helping support the Pepperell SADD Chapter, please contact their Advisor, Alana Ellenburg at 706-236-1844. 

For more information about how to obtain a $2,000 SADD grant contact: Barbara Jones, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, 404-657-9246 or .