In an effort to boost its “Safe-T Begins with Me” campaign, the UT Police Department received two grants to significantly cut down both speeding and alcohol-related accidents on campus.
Given by the Govenor’s Highway Safety Office, the grants amount to about $8,000.
One, called the Alcohol Countermeasures Grant, will be used to educate the campus community on the dangers related to drinking and how it can impact highway safety. One of the biggest target audiences will be incoming freshman who will have UTPD’s “Stay Safe on Campus” video incorporated into First Year Studies classes.
Students will be encouraged to make a commitment not to drink and drive. Those who decide to make the commitment will receive a “Safe-T Begins with Me” sticker decal for their automobile.
“It’s a good idea to incorporate safety into FYS classes,” Chelsea Baker, junior in nutrition, said. “Even if the student does go make some unwise choices when it comes to alcohol, perhaps this program will leave a nagging thought in the back of their mind and make them consider a designated driver.”
The same video will be hosted on UTPD’s website. The video was produced by 360° Stay Safe, an organization which creates personal safety materials for colleges and universities. The video uses university students from around the country who talk about how to stay safe while on a college campus.
“I think a lot of times we underestimate the amount of danger we put on ourselves and others by drinking and driving,” Emma Ferraro, freshman in biochemistry and molecular biology, said. “We think to ourselves, ‘oh, it’s just down the road — we can make it,’ but the truth is an accident can change people’s lives so drastically.”
UTPD understands that the community also needs to be informed. They will also be integrating new resources into their existing community programs about the dangers of drinking and driving, such as a racecar station where participants play a Wii racing game while wearing alcohol vision goggles to demonstrate the effects of alcohol while driving. Also included will be a “Sum It Up Cup” game which will help participants see the amount of alcohol a beverage can contain and how it will affect the blood alcohol level.
The High Visibility grant money will be used for the purchase of new radar equipment. The aspiration of the High Visibility grant is to ultimately increase safety on campus roadways by reducing the risk of crashes due to speeding.
Selected officers will attend the Governor’s Highway Safety Office Instructor Radar Training. Annual training will be completed on the radar units, and these units will be used around campus to reduce speeding related incidents.
UTPD boosts campus safety
Published: Fri Apr 20, 2012