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Pre-Prom Dinner Tackles Impaired and Distracted Driving for Rhode Island Students

RI Student Assistance Services Supports Annual Preventive Safety Event at Burrillville High School

March 31, 2011 - PRLog -- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the under-20 age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers. Of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes, 16% were reported to have been distracted while driving.

“Distraction” is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driv­ing task to focus on some other activity instead. Of the many forms of distraction, texting and cell phone use top the list. Distraction is a subset of inattention which also includes fatigue, physical conditions of the driver, and emo­tional conditions of the driver.

RI Student Assistance Services (RISAS) headquartered in Warwick in cooperation with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) at Burrillville High School and The Burrillville Prevention Action Coalition (B-PAC) will tackle the issue of impaired and distracted driving during its annual pre-prom preventive safety dinner on April 6, 2011 at 6PM. The featured guest speaker is Despina Metakos Harris, Highway Safety Coordinator for the RI Department of Transportation who will speak to the students about this critical safety concern.

“This annual dinner has historically provided an ideal platform for getting out vital safety messages to juniors and seniors during prom season,” said Janet McLinden, Student Assistance Counselor and co-advisor for SADD at Burrillville High School who has been instrumental in pre-prom dinners for over eighteen years. “Between students and parents, we expect nearly two hundred attendees.”  

The evening includes the presentation, an opportunity for questions and answers, plus a pizza and salad dinner for students and parents. The night will culminate with a raffle of prom-related prizes such as limos, tuxes, corsage, boutonnières, and hairstyling donated from many community businesses. Students who attend with a parent receive a $5 discount on their prom ticket.

“The pre-prom dinner at Burrillville High School is a timely event as April is also Alcohol Awareness Month,” said Judy Chick, LICSW, Program Director for RI Student Assistance Services. “It’s our mission to maintain an open dialogue to prevent student celebrations, such as prom and graduation, from turning dangerous.”

For information on attending the pre-prom dinner, contact Janet McLinden at mclindenj@bsd-ri.net. For more information on RISAS, contact Judy Chick at jchick@rieas.com.

About RI Student Assistance Services (RISAS)

RISAS currently has a student assistance counselor embedded in 52 secondary schools and serves 5,600 students. For more information, visit http://www.risas.org/ or visit us on Facebook RI ‘Student Assistance Services’.

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Established in 1985, RIEAP, Inc. is comprised of two divisions, RI Employee Assistance Services (RIEAS) and RI Student Assistance Services (RISAS). Its mission is delivering services that help employees, family members and students with critical issues.

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