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Keystone Oaks HS Hosts Safe Driving Forum Ahead Of Prom Season

MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) -- Prom season is just around the corner for thousands of area high school students.

While it's a time of excitement for the kids, it can also be scary for parents.

Seven thousand teens die in car crashes every year. It is the number one killer of young people in America. Nearly a third involve alcohol.

So, law enforcement officials were at Keystone Oaks High School in Mount Lebanon on Thursday. They gave a presentation that pulled no punches in showing what can happen when you drink and drive.

"It's not always like on TV where it's in slow motion or where you see an airbag inflating that looks like a balloon coming out of a dashboard," said Cpl. James Hughes, of the Mount Lebanon Police Department. "When you see the actual human trauma and you see some of the things that can happen to you in a crash, I really do think it helps bring it home."

The SADD Chapter at Keystone Oaks sponsored the event for juniors and seniors at their school and neighboring Seton LaSalle. It reminds them of the dangers on the roads heading into prom season, and they did more than simply attend an assembly.

Law enforcement and school officials say they hope the mock crash they set up sends a real message, helping kids to understand that their decisions have consequences.

"We are hoping that if they take anything away, it's wear your seatbelt," said Nancy Kraemer, of Keystone Oaks High School. "Be safe. Remember what they have seen here, and that it can be real, and protect themselves and their friends."

So what exactly did the kids think?

"You are always taught to wear your seatbelt, but what if you forget that one night and then something happens and you end up dead or in the hospital?" said Dominique Cognetti, a junior at Seton LaSalle High School. "It really puts it into perspective that you really need to listen to your parents, listen to the people, and it's a good thing they have the programs like this to help us out."

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