GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This year's prom night has arrived, and the city of Gulfport continues their efforts to keep students and other drivers on the road safe.
Studies show that one of the most dangerous nights for high school students is prom night. Over the last couple of years, Gulfport police have partnered with the Gulfport School District as well as Domino's Pizza to ensure students are staying safe while having fun.
"We pledge that on the way to prom and on the way back from prom, we'll buckle up and not drink and drive." senior student Katie Lee Bruni said.
Gulfport police and Gulfport High officials have spent the week stressing the importance of their student's safety. That's why students at Gulfport High have taken a special safety pledge.
"Our intentions and what we're seeking with this program more than anything is we want the youth in this community to realize, they can be leaders, they can be responsible and they can be influential," Gulfport police Sergeant Michael Saucier said.
Saucier wants students to know they can be responsible and make a difference.
"There's good consequences with good choices, and they need to pass that message on. They can influence not only their friends, but their family as well," Saucier said.
Juniors and seniors have signed this petition and know it's not only important for themselves but other drivers on the road.
"It's really important because we don't want to put anyone's life, especially ours and other people's, in danger," Bruni said.
The students want their peers to take the safety pledge seriously.
"Safety is always important and when we have big events like this, you never know what could happen." senior Derrick Anderson said.
"I just want my fellow classmates to keep in mind that there are other people on the road and you need to not just think about yourself, but others," Darien Young said.
Gulfport High School Principal Michael Lindsey has one final message before the good time begins.
"Have fun and buckle up. Again, have fun but more importantly be safe," Lindsey said.
Lindsey says this safety program has continued to be a success in past years, and they thank Gulfport police for taking the extra step to keep their students and other drivers on the road safe.
Saucier says they will proceed to pull over drivers that seem to be a hazard on the roads, but they'll particularly be looking for students driving smart and safely, rewarding them with a citation to receive a free pizza from Dominos.