Keep teens safe on prom night

Glamorous gowns have been picked out. Tuxedo rental agreements have been signed. Limousines have been lined up by some. And yes, the flowers have been ordered.

It is prom season. The big night will be a highlight of many of their young lives.

They should have many more enjoyable times to come — but there is danger some will not. They may be involved in car crashes, many caused by drinking and driving.

We adults do all in our power to keep the kids safe on prom night. One innovation, as we told you about a few days ago, is use of a machine that simulates the effects of alcohol consumption on the ability to operate a car or truck. The simulator is making the rounds of high schools.

Many teenagers seem to have little conception of how quickly a carefree evening can turn deadly. That leaves it up to adults to keep them from harm.

Incredibly, some adults think the way to do that is to host parties at which the youngsters can consume alcohol. It is difficult to conceive of anything more counterproductive. Local law enforcement agencies should continue their practice of cracking down hard on such irresponsible adults.

Other adults have a better idea: “after-prom” parties offering good food and enjoyable activities in strictly controlled environments. No one can say how many lives such events have saved.

These events could be life-saving for teens after the prom. We encourage local support of the idea. Perhaps community leaders could consider planning an after-prom party.

Yes, it can be expensive. Yes, it takes hard work. But aren’t the kids worth it?

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