Chattahoochee Valley taking a stand against texting and driving - WRBL

Chattahoochee Valley taking a stand against texting and driving

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The Chattahoochee Valley is taking a stand against texting and driving. Many high schools and people around the area are participating in "Drive 4 Pledges," an AT&T nationwide campaign to end texting and driving. AT&T has proclaimed September 19 "Drive 4 Pledges" Day, where they're encouraging people to pledge to never text and drive.

Statistics show teen drivers are most likely to text and drive. 97% of teenagers say they believe texting while driving is dangerous, yet about half admit they do it, according to a 2011 report by AT&T. Texting while driving is also the leading cause of death for teen drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some students at Central High School in Phenix City say most of their friends don't even think twice about texting while driving.

"I have some friend's text just about every time they get in the car," says CHS student Ethan Calhoun.

Some students say their friends realize the dangers of texting while driving, but they don't think about some of the consequences when they do it.

"People can lose their lives or people can lose their ability to walk, and it can be dangerous to ourselves and others," says Jasmine Coles, a CHS student.

"I know a lot of people don't think about what could happen, a lot of people like to think, ‘it's not going to happen to me," says Corey Gibbs, a senior at CHS. 

Terry Smith, AT&T's Regional Director, says he believes it's become a habit for many students.

"It's like any other habit for some people, they don't even think about doing it," says Smith. "Being conscious that you're doing it is the first step." 

Isia Jenkins, a student at Central High School, says a lot of her friends always have their phones on them and it's second nature to look at or send a text while driving.

"It's hard to actually put your phone down because once it vibrates or rings, it gets your attention and of course you want to respond," says Jenkins.

Smith has been working with the "It Can Wait" campaign for several years. He hopes people will see the possible consequences of texting while driving.

"Our goal is to make people aware and make them realize that there is no text that sent or read that's worth dying for," says Smith.

The Muscogee County School District has also joined in the nationwide campaign to end texting while driving. AT&T representatives will visit Northside High School on Friday to show a documentary about texting while driving, and give students the opportunity to sign the pledge.

More than 2.5 million people already have signed the pledge, which is part of the "It Can Wait" campaign.

Anyone can sign on ItCanWait.com.  Those who sign are encouraged, by the It Can Wait campaign, to click on the "stories" tab and share their reasons for signing the pledge.  They also can track the social media campaign by following the Twitter hash tag #ItCanWait.  

There are also apps you can download to your smartphone to prevent yourself from texting and driving.

 

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