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The Blue & Gray Press | May 20, 2018

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Staff Editorial: Safe Rides: An Idea Worth Driving Home

The Student Government Association (SGA) is currently working on a Safe Ride program that will provide rides to University of Mary Washington students on weekends. The program is designed to give students rides to and from campus, during the day and at night.

The program is still in the early stages of planning, but the SGA hopes the Safe Ride program will lower foot traffic on campus and present the University and its students in a good light to the rest of the Fredericksburg community.

Many other schools have similar programs to Safe Ride in place already, including Virginia Commonwealth University and James Madison University. The SGA looked to these schools to help research and model UMW’s Safe Ride program.

The Bullet believes that the Safe Ride program is a good idea, and that it will be well received by both students and community alike. The Safe Ride program, in its essence, would provide free and safe rides for students, easing the walk to and from downtown Fredericksburg and other UMW haunts.

More importantly, the program would provide safety for students and make it less likely for them to get in trouble for public intoxication.

According to the strategic plan for the program, students will be admitted in the Safe Ride vehicle with no questions asked when they present their EagleOne card. Students can simply hop on from parties, or wherever their night takes them, and safely gets back to campus.

Some areas of Fredericksburg pose safety threats, and these threats increase when a small group of students, especially females, leave a bar or party to walk home. These students may be intoxicated and therefore easy targets for assault or other bad elements.

In addition, Safe Ride can also protect students from getting into trouble with authorities, therefore saving students from any legal trouble, whether state or university. This would in turn keep students’ records intact and potentially stop anything insulting from coming up in a job interview.

More importantly, the Safe Ride program will protect students from themselves. According to a study by Fox News, about 1,700 college students died as a result of injuries related to alcohol in 2001. Students with cars may not be as inclined to drive home, thus lowering the chance of DUIs anddrunk accidents around campus.

We at the Bullet hope the Safe Ride program will become an established practice on campus and provide both an easy transportation system and safety for students on their weekend excursions.