SafeRides commences for the second year

January 26, 2010 — by Karthik Sreedhara

Juniors and seniors volunteering to drive for SafeRides began their work Dec. 12 on the night of Winter Formal and will continue to offer services twice a month on weekends.

Senior Tiffany Mo, co-leader of the program, said SafeRides is more than just a taxi service for drunk students. “It is really for any Saratoga student who feels unsafe and needs a ride home,” she said. “Many of our calls actually come from sober students.”

Mo said that the first night ran without any significant difficulties. They had two drivers, two navigators, one dispatcher, and two parents working that night, and picked up two students.

According to senior Rebecca Amato, Mo and senior Kevin Rollinson began to run SHS branch of the program through the Leadership class and is exclusively for SHS students. The SafeRides committee meets every second and fourth Friday and Saturday, at St. Andrews Church. On the first night , SafeRides ran from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., rather than the normal time, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

According to Rollinson, the program will get guest speakers, organize events like last year’s DUI trial and pass out pamphlets regarding the program.

“We are also going to try to work with the local sheriff’s department and the areas “Explorers Program” (a division of Boy Scouts of America) to warn about the dangers of drinking and driving,” said Rollinson.

While waiting for calls, the committee usually hangs out at St. Andrews.

“We usually watch movies, do our homework or play games,” said Mo. “On the first night this year, we watched ‘The Proposal’ and played Pictionary.”

Though they did not have any trouble running the program, getting it started has been difficult.

“I think one of the difficult parts of the program was getting out the word that the program doesn’t condone or encourage drinking, but that it understands that some students may find themselves in situations where such a service might be needed,” said Rollinson.

Mo said the committee consists of about 20 juniors and seniors, including drivers, dispatchers who take the phone calls and navigators who sit in the passenger seat.

“Even if we only get one call in a night, that’s one less drunk driver on the road, and one more student that makes it home safely,” said Rollinson.

The number to call SafeRides is (408) 827-8761.

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