A group of local high school students is working to reduce injuries and deaths among young drivers, particularly the ones resulting from speeding, driving under the influence and texting while driving.
South Effingham High School has received a $2,500 Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
SEHS’ newly-formed SADD chapter plans to increase safety belt use among its teen drivers by providing incentives for safety belt use in the student parking lot. SADD students also are planning other events to promote safe driving.
In addition, the South Effingham SADD chapter will send its president and advisor to a statewide leadership-training program each fall along with representatives from other high schools that received similar grants.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of teen deaths, and 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, which accounted for 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, according to the GOHS.
“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 South Effingham 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.”
For more information on how to obtain a SADD grant, contact Eshon Poythress at (404) 657-1955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.