According to the Public Log Report of the University Police Department, UCF officers made 16 arrests on and off campus for individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. The unsettling thing? These arrests happened in the span of under two months. Fortunately for the safety of students and East Orlando residents alike, the University of Central Florida is taking the necessary measures to make sure DUI prevention is available for students through two programs: UCF Safe Ride and KnightDrive.
UCF Safe Ride is a program for students that offers free taxi rides, up to a $35 fare. The Activity and Service Fee – a payment made by students based on how many credit hours he or she is taking each semester – covers the cost of the taxi ride through a voucher. If a taxi ride exceeds the amount of the covered cost, students are responsible only for the remaining amount of the drive.
The voucher can be obtained from the Student Government Assocation Ticket Center, which is located in UCF’s Student Union. With a valid student ID card, students are allowed to get one voucher every 60 days. Because money used for the Safe Ride program was recently cut down, the number of vouchers given out each semester is limited, according to an anonymous representative at the SGA Ticket Center. Currently, the Ticket Center still has vouchers for this semester, the representative said.
Although Safe Ride seems like an ideal DUI prevention and safety program, it could soon be taken over by KnightDrive, a driving program similar to Safe Ride that may provide a cost saving alternative.
KnightDrive is a program that will offer “free, non-judgmental” rides to a designated address for UCF students, according to the UCF Student Government Association Web site. If a student doesn’t feel safe driving, he or she can call KnightDrive, give their location, and where they need to be. KnightDrive will then dispatch a driving crew – two volunteers, one male and one female – who will bring the student to the location they requested. The service will operate on Friday nights, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. initially. The Web site did not say if SGA plans to expand the days or hours.
Currently, KnightDrive is in its final stage of review, according to a recent article published by the Central Florida Future, UCF’s official school newspaper. The program could be up and running by the week after spring break if approved according to the article.
Rob Love, a student at UCF majoring in film, has obtained vouchers for Safe Ride, but hasn’t felt the need to use one yet.
“Since I can only get one every 60 days, I didn’t want to waste it,” he says.
Love believes that the money allotted towards Safe Ride through the Activity and Service Fee could go to plenty of different places if KnightDrive turns out to be a success, such as more free testing supplies for students or new on-campus programs and clubs.
“KnightDrive is a really good idea,” says Love. “It definitely has the potential to be better than Safe Ride.”
Article by Nicole Lauber