RUTLAND - May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, a time
when the National Youth Safety Organization (NYSO), and its 70
national nonprofit organizations, work with youth groups to engage
in traffic safety projects in their local communities. To encourage
participation, NYSO sponsors a contest with a grand prize of
$10,000, called Act Out Loud.
Participants must host a safety rally, design T- shirts and
posters and, most importantly, film their rally. The contest is
open to any high school or junior high school in the country which
puts the number of potential competitors in the tens of thousands.
But those odds didn't phase, Stafford Technical Center's SADD
(Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter as they came in
second place last year during a similar contest. With that
experience behind them, the students were confident they can put
together a winner this year.
Stafford Technical Center's SADD (Students Against Destructive
Decisions) chapter hosted a Youth Highway Safety Rally in the Home
Depot parking lot in Rutland last weekend. The turnout was great
considering the wet weather that arrived later in the day,
The rally included the culinary team from Stafford cooking food.
"If we judge by the amount of food we gave away, we must have had
about 1,000 people come through today," said SADD advisor John
D'Esposito. The Stafford music program also provided a soundtrack
for the day.
The rally featured interesting interactive activities and
demonstrations as well as speakers.
One of the favorite demonstrations was the fire department's
'jaws of life' which opened up a minivan like a can of
There was also a dramatic simulation of what it is like when the
occupants of a car, not wearing safety belts, roll over in their
vehicle - they fly out of the windows.
Local law enforcement groups were also there showing off
technology like driving simulators and roadside DUI detection
devices. Other groups were present with literature about the
dangers of drugs and alcohol.
A popular interactive event was the texting while driving course
that the public could attempt. Attendants got behind the wheel of a
golf cart and tried to navigate a course lined with cones. Each of
those cones represented a person or an animal and, needless to say,
there was a lot of cone-carnage.
Dylan Goad, a member of the Stafford Video Media Program and the
team's videographer, said "I got some pretty good footage today. I
joined this program because I recognize the importance of good
decisions." Another student, Joel Galvin, said "I am in the Public
Safety Services Program at Stafford and it was important to me to
help make this rally a success. After school, I hope to become a
police officer so this is an experience I can use. I hope to do
work in youth prevention when I am an officer," he said.
The rally was a success for the community, now they'll have to wait
to see how it compares to others nationwide to know if they're the
recipients of the grand prize money.
Photos by Nathan Allen