Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Offer Logistics and Safety Tips for Prom Next Week
BEDFORD – As students head off to prom next week, Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department offer logistics for the annual Prom Stroll and safety tips for students and families on Prom Night.
The Bedford High School Senior Prom is Tuesday, May 31.
Before the dance begins, the Bedford Chamber of Commerce will hold the annual Prom Stroll on the Town Common on Great Road from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The Prom Stroll is an annual town tradition in which the senior class gathers to take pictures together before the dance. All students and their families are invited to attend. Residents should expect significant and prolonged traffic delays due to the event:
- South Road will be closed from Great Road to the Loomis Street intersection
- Northbound commuter traffic will be detoured at the intersection of South Road and Loomis Street
- Residents in the area will still be able to get to their homes
- Commuters are advised to seek alternative routes to navigate around the congested area.
In the event of rain, the Prom Stroll will be moved indoors at the high school.
Prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting events for students, but they should remember the decisions made before, during and after the celebration can have long-term consequences.
Bedford Police recommend parents reinforce the importance of good decision making with their children and facilitate conversations often and regularly about potentially destructive choices.
“We expect Prom Night to be a fun-filled event that students will remember for years to come,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Our goal is for everyone to be safe and responsible in the process.”
Tips for students to stay safe before and after the prom:
- Think responsibly: Don’t feel pressured to take part in inappropriate behavior prior, during, or after the dance. It’s OK to say no, even if others are participating.
- Travel safely: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Always buckle up, no matter how short the trip. It’s the law. Additionally,
—– Don’t text and drive. Texting and cell phone use while driving is illegal for Massachusetts teens under 18 years old.
—– Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
- Be alert: Dating violence is an issue that can affect anybody — those in a long-term relationship, or people who just met. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. Know beforehand what your boundaries are and communicate those to your partner. Wherever you go after prom, don’t be afraid to tell a family member, friend, or call 911 if you or someone you know is abused or in danger.
In addition, the Bedford Police Department has launched a #JUSTDRIVE campaign against distracted driving as students head into the summer season.
Parents can play a large role in helping their children have a safe, yet memorable evening.
- Communicate: Have a pre-prom talk to set guidelines for students during prom and remind them of the consequences for breaking the rules. Reinforce that you will not tolerate underage drinking, and that’s it’s illegal. Get students’ itineraries for the evening, including whom they will be with, where they’ll be going before and after the prom, and the phone numbers of where you can contact them. Come to a fair decision on a curfew and express any concerns about their health and safety.
—– If students are not coming home right after prom, set up check-in times throughout the night and the following morning.
- Plan ahead: After prom parties should be adult supervised. Students are encouraged to always go with a buddy and notify parents or guardians where they’ll be and how to reach them.
—– Adults should not let teens drink at home, even if no one plans to drive and keys are confiscated. Under the Social Host Law, parents are criminally and civilly liable if they allow underage drinking to occur in their houses.
- Be understanding: Let students know they can call you at any time for help, advice or a ride with the promise to not shame or embarrass them in front of others.