SADD begins new safety program

Hannah Heger, Features Editor

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Students Against Destructive Decisions officers went to Wichita to participate in the Teen Safety Conference with many other SADD representatives, which was sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“[We were] talking about everything from seatbelt safety, distracted driving, you know, using your cell phone, all of those kinds of things at this conference,” said Kari Humes, SADD sponsor. Humes is also the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coordinator and Counselor.

The conference consisted of several keynote speakers and interactive games simulating the effects of distracted driving, Along with learning about the dangers of distracted driving, SADD also trained for their new seatbelt program, Seatbelts are for Everyone. The Kansas Department of Transportation and the Douglas County Citizens Committee of Alcoholism sponsor many SAFE groups across Kansas  and run the SAFE program. Manhattan High’s SADD branch has been doing several other activities prior to their introduction of the SAFE program.

“We also do three seatbelt and distracted driving inventories every year as part of this program,” said Humes.

They will be looking at the student drivers with their passengers and see who’s wearing their seatbelt and who’s not. They will also be checking who is distracted by their phone or by something else, such as food, the radio or their passengers.

“… we inventory all of that and figure out the percentage of students that are driving distracted or driving on their cell phone and so forth,” said Humes.

Along with the new SAFE program, SADD will also have gift card drawings every month to encourage people to wear their seatbelts.

“Our latest event was seatbelt pledges during lunch at west campus,” said senior Emily Deeds, co-president of SADD. “Students pledge to wear their seatbelts and they get put into a drawing for a $25 gift card.

Even with their new SAFE program, SADD is still preparing for the upcoming Red Ribbon Week and for future events this year.

“For Red Ribbon Week, we are hoping to sponsor a spirit week to pump people up,” said senior Ashley Savage, co-president of SADD. “As a SADD Co-President, I’m super excited to get more people involved with our club. We have some super fun events happening this year.”

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