The Safe Rides program may not be the final solution to the problem of youth driving while impaired. But according to supporters, such programs are a helpful step forward in saving lives.
Wilton Safe Rides is a program in which many high school students (120 to 130 signed up to volunteer earlier this fall) provide safe and confidential rides for other high school students in town who feel uncomfortable driving themselves home or having someone else drive them home.
Safe Rides programs attract students who might be turned off by a message of abstinence. Once youth have become accustomed to not drinking and driving, they may cut back or stop drinking. The important thing is to get students involved with choices and responsibilities in the hope that they will learn to make the right decisions. If Safe Rides programs can promote even a modest increase in responsible behavior among young people, then they make a positive contribution deserving of widespread support.
It’s welcoming news that three community-minded businesses — Fresh Green Light, Splash Car Wash and the Village Market — each donated $500 to Safe Rides recently, as reported last week. They and Safe Rides’ other “amazing sponsors,” according to the organization’s Facebook posts, have included Kiwanis and The County Assemblies.
Wilton Safe Rides volunteers work out of Trackside Teen Center on Friday and Saturday nights during the school year from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The program does not operate on holidays and long weekends, when the volunteers rightly spend time with their families.
By keeping such a program active, the roads are made safer for everyone.