Student group receives state grant
PHS SADD chapter receives Governor's Office of Highway Safety grant
Posted on 12/12/2013
Safe Driving Expo
One local group of high school students is trying to reverse the trend of teen drivers being the source of bad news stories in the community due to tragic texting and driving deaths or crashes involving speed and alcohol. 

As a result of their efforts to involve area students in reducing injury and death to young drivers, Pepperell High School has been awarded a $2,500.00 Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

Because car crashes remain the Number One cause of death for teens, drivers ages 15-19 have a higher rate of crashes, injuries and fatalities than adult and elderly drivers. In 2012, there were an estimated 156 crash deaths of drivers ages 15-20. That represents 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in Georgia. While that represents an overall decrease from 17 percent in 2007, Georgia is still projected to reach that 13 percent mark by the end of 2013.

This grant will enhance Pepperell’s existing SADD chapter with the idea that student input into the solution will help alleviate the problem of teen driver fatalities in our state. “While our teen driver fatality rates are slowly declining, there are still far too many young people dying 
on our roads as a result of avoidable factors like distracted driving, speeding and underage alcohol consumption,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Things have to change and I believe the SADD students at Pepperell High School can make a difference in their community to help bring teen crash rates down statewide. These students know that sometimes, one of the best ways to get through to teenagers is with teenagers themselves.”

The Pepperell High School SADD chapter plans to continue its efforts to educate both the students at Pepperell High School as well as the Floyd County community as a whole. The Pepperell SADD Chapter will hold several seatbelt checks at Pepperell, bring in guest speakers to discuss road and traffic dangers to young drivers, and special prom activities. In addition, the Pepperell High SADD Chapter will host the 5th annual Rome & Floyd County Safe Driving Expo in April. This expo is available to all drivers in the Floyd County area. "The driving expo has grown each year and involves much of the community in helping to educate area teens about the dangers of unsafe driving habits, stated Alana Ellenburg, SADD advisor and teacher at Pepperell High School.   

The Pepperell SADD chapter will also send its president and advisor to a statewide leadership-
training program.  They will partcipate in this training program along with the representative from other high schools that received similar grants.

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