By Kate Coleman
The facts are cold and hard. Alcohol is the leading cause of all automobile crashes involving teenage drivers. Nearly eight young people per day - one every three hours - die in alcohol-related vehicular crashes, according to information provided by Nationwide Insurance Prom Promise program.
Signing the Prom Promise pledge is making a commitment not to use drugs or alcohol, especially on prom night. The program began in 1990 with 80,000 students in 160 high schools. More than 3.4 million teens in nearly 4,200 high schools are expected to participate in Prom Promise 1997.
St. Maria Goretti High School, St. James School and Washington County public high schools are participating in Prom Promise activities.
At North Hagerstown High School, Principal David Reeder has promised to spend a day on the roof of the school if 65 percent of his students sign the pledge. On Tuesday, April 29, Students Against Drunk Driving will sponsor a candlelight vigil and march to Rest Haven Cemetery for a ceremony commemorating victims of drunken drivers. Two students and a teacher will attend a Students Against Drunk Driving conference in Baltimore, and a former state trooper severely injured by a drunken driver will speak at the school.