Safe Rides

Emily, Arden, Kaya
      The Issue: Drinking and Driving
       among teens in New Canaan
                                                         Almost 100% of students
                                                          surveyed admitted to
                                                          either drinking and
                                                          driving or being a
                                                          passenger of a car driven
                                                          by a drunk driver
                                                         Over 3,000 teens die
                                                          every year from accidents
                                                          related to drunk driving
                                                         New Canaan will not     provide a Safe Rides
                                                          program unless a tragedy
                                                          related to drunk driving
                                                          occurs in our town
        What Could Potentially
 In 2007 in the state of
  CT alone there were:
    16 Alcohol-Impaired
     Driving Fatalities
     committed by kids
     under the age of 21
 Additionally in 2007 in
  the state of CT there
    98 arrests for drunk
     driving to kids UNDER
     the age of 18
          What is Safe Rides?
 Safe rides is an organization run through the Red
  Cross (in most towns) that helps students avoid
  driving under the influence or being stuck with a
  driver that is under the influence
 Neighboring towns use this program (Stamford,
  Darien, Greenwich, Ridgefield, ect.)
 Most are student-run operations where students
  volunteer on Friday and Saturday nights to pick
  up other kids that need a safe ride home
 When asked if they had either driven drunk and/ or
  been in a car with a drunk driver students of NCHS
    9th grade= 100% said yes
    10th grade= 70% said yes
    11th grade= 78% said yes
    12th grade= 68% said yes
 When asked if they thought a Safe Rides program
  would be beneficial in our town, NCHS students
    9th grade= 100% said yes
    10th grade= 80% said yes
    11th grade= 93% said yes
    12th grade= 100% said yes
             Current Policies
 Currently, New Canaan does not have a program
  concerning drunk driving
 In the 90s, NC had a Safe Rides program through
  the Red Cross but discontinued it because of
  liability issues
 Greenwich, Ridgefield, Darien, Stamford, and
  many other neighboring towns have very
  successful Safe Rides programs through the Red
            NCPD Opinions
 We interviewed Officer Milligan on the idea of
  Safe Rides in New Canaan- agrees it is
  something that could benefit our town
 Police Dept. cannot be involved with it directly
  due to the fact that it conflicts the law
 When asked about teen drinking in NC, Milligan
  said that he believes our town is above average
  with the teen drinking rate
 Milligan also said: “If other towns are doing it
  and they haven’t had anything negative happen,
  then why should we wait to establish it in our
       Interview With Giovanni Torcasio
      (Lewis School of Driving Instructor)
                                                           Many people will
                                                            disagree with his views,
                                                            but Giovanni believes
                                                            that Safe Rides “is more
                                                            beneficial than hurtful”
                                                           “The # 1 killer among
                                                            16-24 year-olds is a car
                                                            accident where drugs and
                                                            alcohol are involved.”
                                                           “Safe Rides doesn’t
                                                            encourage teenage
                                                            drinking, it encourages
                                                            NOT drinking and
                 Our Policy
 We propose that the Outback Teen Center serve as
  a headquarters for a Safe Rides program for New
 Rules for NC Safe Rides:
  -Run by student volunteers for Community
  Service hours, drivers work in partners
  -Teens cannot be dropped off at another party,
  they must be taken home or to wherever they’re
  spending the night
  -No alcohol or other substances may be brought
  onto the bus
  -Hours of operation would be from 10 PM to 1
  AM on Friday and Saturday nights
             Policy Continued
 Because of liability issues, New Canaan has
  been hesitant to reinstate a Safe Rides
  program (the Red Cross gave us a definite
 We came up with these additions to our
  Safe Rides Policy to avoid some of the
  liability issues:
   Parents must sign a waiver form allowing their
    child(ren) to be transported by the Safe Ride Staff
   Drivers would use a directory to ensure that they were
    driving kids to their actual home addresses
Alternative Policies and Support
 From Different Organizations
 Taxi-cards (Ridgefield uses this)
 Involve community-based groups such as
  SLOBS and the NCL chapters for volunteer
  drivers and organizers
 Possibly offer a set limit of rides per month
  (2 or 3) to compromise with parents that do
  not want the program for fear that teens will
  abuse it as an excuse to drink
             Plan of Action
 Gather all information and statistics that
  we’ve collected
 Ask for additional support from community
  groups (such as SLOBS)
 Involve Jeb Walker (First Selectman) to
  support our cause
 Use this presentation to come before the
  Outback committee and other members of
  the community and propose our version of
  Safe Rides
                Flow Chart of Our Progress
                                      Safe Rides Program for New Canaan

                                          Chose Safe Rides Program:
                                            We are NCHS students
                                           We witness this problem

      Decided that surveys                    Organized meetings               Interviewed Officer Milligan on the NCPD's
      were the best way to              with various adults and directors         opinion of having a Safe Rides in our
         gather student               for more information on the program                         town
      and parent opinions                    and how to get it in NC

   Originally began with online              Met with Stacey Hafen,            Interviewed Giovanni Torcasio, the driving
surveys, but ended up with actual           Director of NC Red Cross            instructor at the Lewis School of Driving
 surveys to hand out to students     Got info on other Safe Rides programs        on information about teens and drunk
           and parents                         and who to contact                                 driving

                                    Met with Director of Outback Teen Center      Gathered all of our info and statistics
                                       to see if the OTC could become a          to create our powerpoint, and make an
                                        potential headquarters for an NC        argument on why our town needs a Safe
                                                    Safe Rides                 Rides program and how it would benefit us
                                                    “High school kids are always
                                                    going to to drink. And then
                                                    they’re going to be faced with
                                                    the decision to either drive or
                                                    be driven drunk, or to make a
                                                    call to someone sober to drive
                                                    them home. With Safe Rides
                                                    in New Canaan, you could
                                                    save that one kid from making
                                                    the wrong decision, and
                                                    potentially save his life and
                                                    the lives of others.”

                                                      -Giovanni Torcasio

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