'No Text on Board' Pledge Day

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

According to a recent survey by AT&T, 75-percent of teenagers admit texting and driving is common among their friends.

But Wednesday, the company and partners including AAA Nebraska are asking all drivers to put down their phones.

The wireless provider will be at Elkhorn High School Wednesday morning, educating students about the dangers involved with technology behind the wheel. In a recent survey they conducted, 75-percent of teenagers said texting while driving was common practice.

"I think even mom and dad have got to realize too, if they're doing it, then more than likely their children are going to do it," said Cornhusker Driving School Instructor Pat Venditte.

His student, 18-year-old Imoni Walker said she's been in the car while family members were texting and driving. "Half the time, they're paying attention. There's a lot going on. It makes me nervous," she said.

She plans on taking the pledge, which AT&T is asking all drivers to take Wednesday. "Driving is hard period," she said, "Talking and texting makes it worse."

“A text can wait. This message can’t,” said Beth Canuteson, AT&T Regional Vice President, while preparing for the school presentation with partner AAA Nebraska.

"Many teens are addicted to texting, so unfortunately, we know when they get in that car, that practice often does not stop," said AAA Nebraska spokeswoman Rose White. "With this national pledge campaign, we want them to make a lifelong commitment that they will not text and drive."

Texting is suspected as a contributing factor in more than 100,000 crashes annually. Many result in injuries and even fatalities. "We've seen them happen here in Nebraska and Iowa unfortunately," said White. "And so we know it can be prevented simply by making that pledge."

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