|SAFE Ride OTD Project keeps roads safe|
|July 10, 2014 Lisa Betz|
GERING – The SAFE Ride OTD Project, now in its third year, is doing its part to keep the roads safe during the weekend’s Oregon Trail Days festivities by offering OTD revelers a free ride home after an evening of fun.
“The first year, we learned a lot,” said project coordinator Lisa Betz “Drivers now have bright, lime green T-shirts that identy us as part of the project and magnetized signs for our cars that let law enforcement know who we are at checkpoints. Last year, we started posting drivers directly outside the bars to catch people leaving at closing time,” she said. “Believe it or not, we have a lot of fun doing this.”
Last year the group reported giving more than 200 rides to Oregon Trail Days revelers. “It’s not about drinking, despite what some believe,” she said. “Couples have thanked us for making it possible to have fun together without one of them sitting out as the designated driver.”
Betz said the service leaves a good impression with out-of-town visitors too. “We have received praise for the community from riders who especially appreciated free bottled water and cold pizza offered to them while they waited for a ride,” she said. “People from the cities don’t understand this hospitality because it is not typical in larger communities.”
Betz said the project operates with volunteer drivers on Friday and Saturday night, July 11-12 from 10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Call (308) 633-6397 for a ride or walk to the Gering Citizen offices on 10th Street.