Mayor Tom Bradley has declared Oct. 5 “Safe Rides Saturday.” On that day six Safe Rides organizations across Los Angeles are holding all-day training sessions for new members.
Safe Rides is a nationwide program involving hundreds of teen-agers and adult advisers. It provides transportation on weekend nights to high school students who are unable to drive safely because they have had too much to drink and to young people who fear being driven by an impaired driver. The Safe Rides are provided by teen-age drivers who are volunteers.
According to Judith Rothenberg, Valley Safe Rides training coordinator, more than 3,000 teen-agers have called Safe Rides in the Southern California area since the program began here three years ago.
“We do not condone teen-age drinking,” Rothenberg says. “We do offer alternatives though when drivers get out of hand and someone is in a potentially dangerous situation.”
“This program offers teen-agers opportunities to get involved in cutting down on the number of drunk driving incidents among their peers. We also need adult volunteers to act as supervisors on weekends.”
Safe Rides has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Academy of Pediatrics, L.A. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and local Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
They are currently working in conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District to explore the possibility of giving special academic credit to students participating in the program.
Those interested in joining Safe Rides may call (213) 413-4400 and ask for the phone number of the closest program and sign-up to attend a training workshop. For the Valley program call L.A./MADD at (818) 705-MADD.