Photo submitted by SADD
Amber Fischer(Rutland HS), Justin Franklin(Rutland HS) and
Dustin Stone(Mill River)
Recently, students from Stafford Technical Center's SADD
(Students Against Destructive Decisions) Chapter did their annual
fall safety belt survey at the entrance to Rutland High School and
Stafford Technical Center. The date that was chosen, unfortunately,
was one when Rutland High School had standardized testing, so a
large number of drivers came in at the same time and there was road
construction on Woodstock Avenue and Stratton Road. The students'
thought that, given the conditions, people would be driving or
riding in a much safer manner. They were surprised to find a number
of people, both adults and students, who were driving far too fast
as they entered the school.
The students found that a number of drivers were texting,
speaking on the phone, smoking, drinking, or eating as they entered
the school. This seemed unsafe (as well as often being illegal)
given the number of vehicles in the area, the number of
pedestrians, and other conditions. The students also observed two
vehicles with drivers holding dogs in their laps, and a number of
youngsters who were either not in a child safety seat as required
by law, or incorrectly secured in the seat.
They also found an improvement in the rate of safety belt use of
any safety belt survey that they had undertaken. Of the 718
operators and passengers who were observed, 92.6% were wearing
safety belts; 7.4% were not.
As always, there was a significant difference among safety belt
usages between males and female operators; the males were wearing
belts 89.0% of the time; the females were belted 95.4% of the time.
Passengers, this time, wore safety belts at about the same rate as
the operators. An interesting observation that the students made
was that the farther back in a van a person was sitting, the less
likely he or she was to be wearing belts. This was amazing, given
the fact that the farther back in a "mommy mobile" a person is
seated, the younger he usually is.
Stafford students who did the survey were Nikki Greenier, a
senior from Mill River Union High School, who acted as the Project
Director, Mill River Union High School junior Roger Brown, the
Assistant Project Director, Mill River junior Dustin Stone, Rutland
High School juniors Amber Fischer and Justin Franklin and Poultney
High School junior John Blanchard and senior Tyler Manning.