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Troopers remind students of safety this prom season

PROCTORVILLE – Fairland High School students received a point-blank message from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Saturday, April 28, 2001

PROCTORVILLE – Fairland High School students received a point-blank message from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Troopers will be watching.

OHP officers not only watch out for teen drunk drivers but for teens speeding or recklessly operating their vehicle.

Trooper Chris Smith told the students the highway patrol has increased its patrol during prom activities to keep teens safe on the roadway during this time of year which is usually filled with activities.

To demonstrate the danger of drinking and driving, Smith had student volunteers wear goggles that simulate the effect alcohol has on vision and coordination.

While wearing the goggles, students were required to walk a line, dribble a basketball around chairs and shoot the basketball from the free-throw line. The students who participated in the demonstration said they were surprised at the effect the impaired vision had on their coordination.

The event is a part of an educational outreach provided by the Ohio Highway Patrol. The educational program has been touted as the reason Lawrence County boasts a safe prom season for all schools in the county.

"We have benefited from a history of safe teen driving during prom time for the last nine consecutive years," said Ironton Post Commander Lt. Carl Roark in a previous interview.

He said, "I feel education with a strict enforcement program is the reason for the safe record."

Lawrence County Probate Judge David Payne also spoke to the students. He told the students he was doing the presentation to keep the students out of the court system.

He said, "I’m trying to get in front of you today so I don’t see you in court."

Payne outlined the penalties if students are caught breaking the law.

He said he wasn’t trying to lecture the students, saying, "You are old enough to make the right decisions You need to know the consequences of your actions."

Fairland’s prom was held Saturday night at the Civic Center in Huntington, W.Va.