Riding in style may be one of the most critical details to check off during prom planning - but coming home alive tops the list.
In 2003, more than half of all 15-20 year olds killed in traffic crashes during prom weekends were killed in alcohol-related crashes, the website for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (www.madd.org) reported. The study added that nearly half of all fatal car crashes on typical prom weekends in 2004 involved alcohol.
To keep kids safe, the requests are currently coming in from local parents and students to arrange transportation with area businesses.
"We get a lot of calls, probably at least five a day...they're booking up really fast," office assistant Katie Benson of Michael's Classic Limousine Inc. in West Reading, explained. "Most kids are looking for the 10-passenger or 20-passenger stretch SUVs."
Benson described the prom package special. "We have a town car, 6-passenger stretch limousine, 10-person stretch limousine and 20-person SUV Excursion." She said the package includes:
* Four hours that can be split, and that time does not include the duration of the prom.
* All sodas, water and ice in the limousine are beverages available for the students.
* The SUV Excursion provides TV's and DVD players.
* Tips for the drivers and gasoline are included in the total price.
* The prices for the specials range from $250.00-$900.00.
"For 15 kids at $900.00 that's $60.00 per person and they can still fit more," Benson noted.
Another approach to clinching a safe and affordable ride is renting vans and cars. Area companies offer luxury cars and 12-15-passenger vans.
"It's a good alternative," said Nate Schultz, assistant manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in West Lawn. He said for a luxury car the price is $79.00 per day and for a van $100.00 per day. Although the person renting the vehicle would have to be at least 21 years old, he added.