LIMA — Area law enforcement will have extra enforcement patrols scheduled for prom weekends in Allen County, starting this weekend and continuing through May 11. Police officers will focus their attention on the driving behaviors of young drivers during that time period.
Allen East, Bluffton, Lima Central Catholic, Perry and Spencerville high schools will hold their proms Saturday night. The following weekend, on May 4, Delphos Jefferson, Elida and Lima Senior will host their proms. On May 11, schools holding prom include Bath, Delphos St. John’s and Shawnee.
Evelyn Smith, spokeswoman for the Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition, said commission members want to remind young drivers to be especially cautious during these special celebrations and to drive responsibly.
“Prom nights are among the most lethal for young people. About 5,000 teenagers are injured or killed nationwide in traffic crashes in a typical prom weekend,” Smith said.
She urged prom-goers to avoid texting while driving and to drive sober.
“Many of these (prom night) crashes are alcohol-related; no matter what form it takes, alcohol will impair judgment and reflexes,” Smith said. “If a friend has been drinking, convince them to stay put and call for help, and don’t ride with someone who has been drinking.”
Smith also noted that 70 percent of the teens killed on prom weekends were not wearing seat belts.