The SAFE Ride OTD project was instrumental in keeping alcohol related driving incidents to a minimum this past weekend.
On Friday night, 118 rides were given and on Saturday night 141 safe rides were given. Project organizer Lisa Betz-Marquez says there were three DUI arrests over the weekend- but only one reported during the time in which SAFE Ride OTD was offering rides.
Co-chair Kevin Fordyce managed the team of 2 dispatchers and 15 volunteer drivers from the new SAFE Ride headquarters at Monument Inn & Suites. The project also stationed two volunteer drivers at the Five Rocks Amphitheater to help with concert rides. “I was very impressed with the volunteers this year,” said Fordyce, “They worked so well together to make the weekend a tremendous success.”
Rides were given from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. both nights, and the furthest distance requested this year was to Bayard and McGrew.
The group may be seeking donations for new magnetized car signs for next year because some of the previous ones were lost en route.
The SAFE Ride OTD project was created by Betz-Marquez in 2010 in an effort to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors to the community during Oregon Trail Days. The project is operated entirely by community volunteers who give their time, gas, insurance, and vehicle service to provide sober rides during the weekend festival. Since the project began, no alcohol related accidents have been reported during their weekends of service. DUI arrests have consistently fallen, while the number of rides given have increased each year.
For more information about SAFE Ride OTD or to learn how you can assist the project with its future goals, call Lisa Betz-Marquez at 308-672-1114.