SAFE program increases driving safety awareness


By Calder Hollond and Ashley Novo-Gradac

We’ve all heard the sayings like “click it or ticket,” as well as the horror stories about fatal, yet avoidable, driving accidents. But even with driving safety being taught to us at an early age, do students at BLHS actually follow basic safety measures like putting on a seatbelt? That was the question that the student ambassador program set out to answer.

Headed by teachers and student ambassador sponsors Libby Martin and Daniel Smalley, the student ambassadors launched the SAFE program. Student ambassadors stood in the parking lot, surveying cars to see how many students were wearing seatbelts. In addition, the ambassadors checked to see whether or not the students were distracted, doing things like texting or making phone calls.

“We were actually able to see that [the survey] helped our kids to put on their seatbelts,” Smalley said. “We have more people putting their seatbelts on.”

In addition to bringing awareness to car safety, the program also had an impact on the student ambassadors doing the surveying. They learned about the safety habits of their peers.

“There are a lot of people who just [put on seatbelts] naturally,” student ambassador and sophomore Erin McGowan said. “But then, it was kind of surprising just how many people didn’t take the time to simply click it in and be a safer person because of it.”

Student ambassador and sophomore Madison Bowers said that “most people in BLHS are safe” when it comes to wearing seatbelts. However, that can’t be said of everyone.

“It was very scary just how many people thought, ‘I can handle not only texting but also just using my phone while driving,’” McGowan said. “That’s not safe.”

The BLHS student ambassadors plan to continue the program in hopes of bringing awareness of driving safety to more students.