After more than a yearlong hiatus due to COVID-19, Salisbury University’s Saferide services have returned for the fall semester to protect students on the road.
Saferide is a confidential, entirely student-run service that provides safe rides back to campus by certified student drivers. The service is intended to protect SU students who would otherwise be unable to return safely to campus from off-campus partying, events or locations.
The organization operates from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Thursday through Saturday and dispatches its vans to various locations anywhere within a three-mile radius of campus, according to Saferide’s website.
Saferide Director of Community Relations Belle Torres urges all SU students to choose Saferide as their way back to campus, especially those unfamiliar with the organization.
As a confidential service run completely by SU students, Saferide does not inform authorities nor university administration of underage alcohol consumption. The operation is simply for the reduction of drunk driving incidents and is looking out for the safety of the student body, Torres said.
“We do not report parties to the police, it’s a common misunderstanding by lots of students,” Torres said. “Since the return of our organization, we’ve had reports of people saying how happy they are for us to be back because it makes the community feel safer for them.”
The organization is required to adhere to SU’s ongoing COVID-19 prevention policies, including having all passengers wear face masks – which are provided if needed – and installing a plexiglass screen in each vehicle to separate its drivers from the passengers. Alcohol is not permitted inside the vans.
Saferide picks up an average of 120-170 individuals per night, Torres said. Students may call 410- 677-5000 to inform a Saferide dispatcher of their location, and the number of individuals in their group to have a van arrive within minutes to deliver them back to campus.
With the guarantee of confidential rides, Torres said the organization ensures more safety and protection than an Uber or Lyft alterative.
The organization’s members aim to ensure the safety and confidentiality of SU students, Torres said.
By LILY CHRISTIANA
Featured image courtesy of George Southworth.