Students sign pledge to wear seatbelts
Published 8:33 am Friday, April 10, 2015
Hundreds of Warren Central High School students made a colorful pledge to make a seatbelt part of their pre- and post-prom outfits.
Students put their fingerprints in paint on a banner promoting seatbelt safety and safe driving before and after Saturday’s prom. The pledge, thought up by seatbelt safety advocate Cassandra Reed, was part of Warren Central’s annual safe prom presentation.
“Wearing a seatbelt is a must. It is instrumental in you living or dying,” Reed said.
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Reed’s daughter Acasia Rochelle Lee was killed in a crash on her way to school Oct. 18, 2012.
The Warren Central student was not wearing a seat belt.
“You need to drive not only for yourselves, but take into consideration the people you leave at home when you’re leaving,” Reed said. “It’s real to walk down the steps of a morgue. It’s real. I’m a witness. I lived it,” Reed said.
Warren Central senior Jamarcus Williams said he remembered Lee who was a grade ahead of him and would be certain to buckle up on prom night.
“That’s the first thing I’m gong to do when I get in the car,” he said.
The safe prom program has been going on at Warren Central since at least 1984, and the message has remained the same for over 30 years, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.
“Decisions you make today, decisions you make Saturday night can affect you immediately or for the rest of your life. Right here from this auditorium there were people who left and never came back,” Pace told the group of students gathered Wednesday in the high school auditorium.
Pace said he wanted to encourage students to have a good time but be safe while doing so.
“I don’t want anybody in here to have to wake up Sunday morning and worry about one of your classmates or one of your friends who is in the hospital or worse,” Pace said.
Vicksburg juvenile division investigator Tommy Curtis asked anyone who was driving to prom to make sure everyone in the car was buckled up.
“If you’re operating that motor vehicle, you are responsible for everyone inside that vehicle,” Curtis said. “You are the guardian of that vehicle.”
Curtis also gave the students a real world example of seatbelt safety, saying his father was killed in a crash and his brother was paralyzed. Neither had on a seat belt.
“I was crushed in the truck myself,” he said.