Safety Bug to drive home message

Safety Bug to drive home message

Maggie Hines and Laura Harper

To expose students to the dangers of drunk driving, the Safety Bug program will be visiting Baldwin’s south parking lot on Thursday.

The Safety Bug is an anti-drunk driving program funded by Allegheny County to give students first-hand experience about the effects of intoxication on driving ability.

The Safety Bug holds true to its name. Students are completely safe during the entire process. Students drive the Safety Bug as they would a normal car, except a Safety Bug representative is in the car manipulating certain factors such as steering and braking ability.

English teacher Dr. Dan Harrold is the Baldwin contact for the Safety Bug. He feels it is important for students to be exposed to activities like this that show the dangers of drunk driving.

“I think it will teach students to think twice about their decisions,” Harrold said. “I think it will really stick if they experience it in a memorable, funny way rather than a terrible, tragic way.”

Social studies teacher Adam Foote will take his senior classes to the Safety Bug.

“Sometimes students think they’re invincible. This could show them the dangers of drinking and driving in a safe environment so they will make better decisions in the future,” Foote said.

Senior Mariah Pacella believes that the Safety Bug will have a big impact on students who participate because it provides a first-hand insight into the concept of drunk driving.

“I think it will show people how dangerous drinking and driving really is” she said. “It might help people who are maybe careless or don’t think their decisions through to see it.”

Students with a driver’s license are permitted to drive the Safety Bug with supervision by the representative. All other students are invited to either be passengers or take a look through a pair of goggles that simulate intoxication.

“This activity is different than just getting lecture after lecture on the dangers of drunk driving,” Harrold said. “You don’t realize how important the lesson is until you experience it yourself.”