ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for teens, and the temptation of drugs and alcohol make prom time especially dangerous for these young drivers. In an effort to help keep local teens safe behind the wheel, AAA and Beep Beep Driving School are hosting the sixth annual Prom Safety Day for local high school students. More than 650 students from seven local high schools will attend this year’s event which will take place Wednesday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville.

Speakers: As in past years, students will hear from a panel of experts on the consequences of impaired driving. Presentations will begin as the first group of students arrives at 9:00 a.m. This year’s presentations include: 

Judge Frank A. Fregiato, Common Pleas Court

Lt. James Faunda, Ohio State Highway Patrol

Chief McFarland, Martins Ferry Police

Heather Merkel, trauma nurse at Wheeling Hospital

The Bridgeport and Martins Ferry K-9 Unit will also conduct

demonstrations on how the use dogs to detect drugs.

Exhibits:

Students will also have the opportunity to browse safety-relatedexhibits from the following partners:

AAA: Brake reaction timer

Beep Beep Driving School: Interactive activities with impairment goggles

Belmont County Health Department: Safety information

Bill’s Towing: Large tow truck and crashed car for students to

visualize what can happen if they drive impaired.

Crossroads Counseling Service: Drug safety information

Cumberland Trail Fire District: Fire truck, EMS vehicle and information booth

Drug Free America: Drug safety information

The Ohio Department of Transportation: Distracted driving simulators

The Ohio State Highway Patrol: Patrol car

STAT MedEvac: Medical helicopter

In addition, Boscov’s Department Store, Claire’s Boutique, David’s Bridal, Regis Hair Salon and Macy’s will have exhibits set up to help prepare the students for prom.

Students will also receive lunch from Fabio’s Pizza and popsicles donated by Reisbeck’s Food Market and United Dairy Farmers.

Teen Driving:

Inexperience makes teens especially risky drivers, and often leads to deadly mistakes. Proposed legislation, HB 293, sponsored by Representatives Gary Scherer and Michael Sheehy, would help make Ohio’s roads safer by giving teens more experience behind the wheel before they’re out on their own. For more information, visit http://teendriving.aaa.com/OH/getting-ready/licensing-process/.

AAA and Beep Beep Driving School work year-round to keep teens safe behind the wheel. For more information on Beep Beep Driving School visit http://www.beepbeepdrivered.com/. State-specific teen driver safety information can also be found on AAA’s Keys2Drive website, which offers evidence-based tools to guide families through the learning-to-drive process. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.