RISP tips to stay safe during prom season

(WPRI) – May is just over a week away, and with it comes the start of prom season.

Teens will be dressing up and hitting the town in the weekends to come, but in order to get there, some will be sitting behind the wheel of a car to get to the big dance.

Rhode Island State Police released a set of safety tips Friday they’re hoping the public will follow, to make sure there are no tragedies this Spring.

“Do not drink and drive, do not get into a car with someone who may be drinking and driving,” says Rhode Island State Police Lieutenant John Charbonneau. “Make sure you wear your seat belt and shut off your cell phone so you’re not prone to texting and driving.”

According to police, there have been no prom-related incidents in Rhode Island in recent years. In Massachusetts last year, 18-year-old Hannah Raposo died after crashing her car on the way to prom in Fall River. Further investigation into the crash revealed Raposo was not searing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Lt. Charbonneau says it’s important to discuss prom safety tips with teens, and make a safe prom transportation plan prior to the night of prom.

“Know what your son or daughter is doing, know who they’re with, and have a backup plan.”

Police are also reminding the public that decisions made on one night, such as prom, can have far reaching consequences.

“If something negative let’s say happens, there’s a good possibility that it could wind up on the internet,” says Lt. Charbonneau.

Police are advising parents to make sure their teen’s cell phones are fully charged, and if their designated driver is no longer able to provide a safe ride, that they call and ask for another ride home.

“Accidents happen, mistakes happen,” says Lt. Charbonneau. “So if we can keep them safe throughout the season, I think that’s the best thing for everyone involved.”