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Park Students Learn Texting and Driving is Not 'LOL'

Park Seniors on Tuesday learned about the dangers of texting and driving. Racine Mayor John Dickert and Rep. Cory Mason were two of the guests encouraging teens to be safer on the road.

"LOL" and "Where R U" are short text messages, but sending them or reading them while driving can lead to long-term consequences.

Tuesday morning, Washington Park High School seniors were given a unique perspective on the dangers of texting and driving through a short documentary and driving simulator.

The presentations were part of a public awareness campaign brought to students by AT&T, AAA, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Representative Cory Mason and Racine Mayor John Dickert. 

Students listened to speakers warning them of the consequences of texting behind the wheel. After the speakers, the group watched "The Last Text," a short documentary produced by AT&T. The film highlighted several tragic cases of texting and driving and in each story, the last text was something as simple as "LOL" or "Where R U."

"You are more important to us than that text," Dickert told the students. "It is that simple."

The Mayor declared Oct. 2 as "Don't Text & Drive Pledge Day" for the City of Racine.

Senior Jessica George said she teared up watching the documentary and listening to the stories. 

"I could really relate to the young girl who died. I do not text and drive now, but this really hit home," she said.

She is now even more certain that texting while driving is a dangerous thing to do, George added.

Scott VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin, agreed with Dickert.

"There is no text worth dying for," he said.

After the presentations, several students were able to use AAA's Distracted Driving Simulator, which gave students a true perspective of the mistakes drivers make while texting. 

Students, parents and citizens are being urged to visit the site www.ItCanWait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge and share their promise on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Rachel Zabler October 03, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Nearly 2 yrs ago I almost lost my son. He was hit by a teen who was texting and ran a red light. He was wearing his seatbelt but was still launched through the windshield. He was flown with Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital and I thank God & the doctors for pulling him through. He had several skull fractures and many many cuts on his head. Every February I say another prayer so that others will learn without going through what our family did. Thanks for letting me share and if this makes just one person think about what could happen, then this was worth it.
Heather Asiyanbi October 03, 2012 at 09:30 PM
@Rachel - thank you for sharing your story. It's definitely worth repeating to not text and drive no matter what! Prayers for your son and your family for continued healing.

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