October 28, 2009

GOHS Grant to Promote Highway Safety to VSU Students

VALDOSTA - Mark Williams, coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Education (AODE), was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), to reduce the number of drunken driving instances and promote seatbelt usage among students and the Valdosta community.

The $8,700 grant will be used to purchase promotional items, such as speakers, a computer-based driving simulator and training materials. GOHS funding will provide conferences for VSU students, giving them the opportunity to learn from other institutions about promoting awareness of alcohol misuse, underage drinking, driving under the influence and seat belt usage.

Members of KARMA, VSU’s peer education class, will be able to attend training conferences and network with other peer educators because of the grant.

AODE will continue to host a major awareness fair each semester held. The fall fair held Thursday, Oct. 22, at Palms Quad featured a DUI cone course, rollover simulator, live entertainment, free food and information offered by campus and community representatives.

“Students can help the cause by making responsible decisions regarding their personal use of alcohol and always wearing a seat belt,” said Williams, who has been with VSU for 10 years. “Students can invest themselves in the safety of their friends and exercise positive peer pressure.”

With the funds, Williams said he plans to hire a part-time student assistant who will be responsible for conducting biannual observational seat-belt surveys.

Call Williams at 229-259-5111 for more information on becoming a student assistant. Also, visit www.valdosta.edu/aode to learn more about Alcohol and Other Drug Education at VSU.

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