Students deserve a Safe Ride


Let’s face it: It’s unsafe to walk home in Evanston after dark.

To ensure the safety of students outside of school, we deserve a safe and free method of transportation. Many colleges and high schools have implemented a Safe Ride program and it is time that ETHS follow suit.

A Safe Ride Program would be run by students and operate from 10 p.m. until about 1 a.m. The rides would be free for students, and it would be only for students who are being picked up in Evanston and dropped off at their homes.

The biggest challenge at Evanston would be starting the program. Funding and volunteers must be plentiful in order to sustain it. For more than 20 years, New Trier has had a successful Safe Ride program. According to an adult supervisor, there has never been a serious drunk-driving related accident on the nights that the program was operating.

However, the need goes beyond getting home from parties. There are parts of Evanston that students may feel unsafe walking alone in, regardless of whether or not they have been to a party. Though many students frequently use Uber to get around during the nighttime, it is an expensive service and implementing a Safe Ride program would reduce the financial challenges of privatized ride services.

Four years ago, the Young Adult Program Manager for the city of Evanston, Kevin Brown, brought up a Safe Ride program, but there wasn’t enough interest to start it.
There are many factors to consider in implementing a Safe Ride program, such as gas money, vehicle availability and student participation. Additionally, a strong adult support system would be required to begin the program.

According to Community Service Coordinator Mary Collins, the ETHS administration cannot endorse a Safe Ride program because they do not want to support underage drinking. It is understandable that a high school cannot support a program that is affiliated with student drinking.

However, it is important that the administration face the facts: Many ETHS students do go to parties and underage drinking is prevalent in Evanston. Since there is no way to prevent it, the best solution is to ensure the safety of all students in getting home.

We at the Evanstonian recognize that there is controversy surrounding support for Safe Ride, but it is vital that ETHS follows in the footsteps of many other high schools and universities to guarantee that students are able to get home safely.