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Wellington: Students Pledge to "X the Text"

3:54 PM, Feb 8, 2011   |    comments
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The campaign was started by Channel One News and Allstate Insurance.

The idea is to have students sign the pledge while learning that the dangers of texting and driving are deadly.

According to Will Pabst, vice president of Wellington High School's Student Council, "The statistics we've brought in have really proved a point, and I think that everyone is just really scared and I think everyone is kind of listening."

According to the campaign literature: It takes your eyes off the road on average of five seconds at a time. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of a football field -- completely blind; it's like driving after having 4 beers. It makes us 23 times more likely to crash; It results in car crashes that kill an average of 11 teens each day; It's results in 330,000 distracted driving injuries every year.

Wellington High School Junior Nathan Starkey knows the dangers first hand. Back in November, he looked down while driving when he received a text.

"I looked down for literally a second or two," Starkey said.

The next thing he knew, he crashed into a police cruiser.

"I was in shock actually, I didn't know what to think, I'd never gotten in an accident before, let alone hit a police car. It makes it ten times worse."

Starkey was fortunate neither he nor the officer were seriously hurt.

"Driving is not a game, and you are watching out for your own safety as well as other peoples safety that are driving and that is just a really selfish thing to do," said Starkey. "From experience, I know that."

Starkey preaches to other students the importance of putting the phone down while driving, but he also hopes other students will take the pledge seriously.

Student Council Secretary Jordan Koerner has also learned from this pledge. She plans to keep her phone in her purse and far away from her when she is driving. 

"Lots of kids die each day because of this texting and driving, distracted driving thing as a whole, and if you can save on life by just taking a pledge," Koerner said, "in the long run it's going to really help."

Student Council Treasurer Matt Dooley said that he has never texted while behind the wheel.

"I just have to keep my eyes on the road, it's hard to do both at once," Dooley said.

Click on the links to learn more about the Allstate and Channel One Pledge.

You can take the pledge by choosing the high school you'd like to support on the Channel One site once you have registered.

The School that recieves the most pledges will win a $10,000 grant and a Channel One News taping at their school. Students will also enjoy a concert at their school by Ashlyne Huff.

WKYC-TV

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