Students Pledge to Put Down the Cell While Driving

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 05/14 2014 05:43PM

Updated 05/14 2014 05:45PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt.- 'It can wait' is the theme of AT&T's campaign to spread awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

“This is just hugely dangerous. The thought that it’s more dangerous for you to be texting while driving then driving drunk,” said Bill Sorrell, the Vermont Attorney General.

At an assembly at Hartford High School in White River Junction students heard that message loud and clear.

“Texting can wait, and nothing is worth dying over,” said Abby Robbins, a 9th grader at Hartford High School.

“You think that nothing will happen but you have to realize that there's always that one time where you look down and there’s someone there. And you hurt someone or kill someone,” said Gina Kersey, a 10th grader at Hartford High School.

Police say it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that even just sending one text while driving is distracting. But what many people don't know is that time it takes to send just one short text police say it’s like driving for 5-6 seconds with your eyes closed.

Texting while driving is not only dangerous it’s against the law. Vermont banned texting while driving back in 2010 and since then more than 500 tickets were issued and filed with the court. Texting and driving is against the law in Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.

Police have said it's tricky to enforce the texting while driving law because it's difficult to prove. But that could all change this year when the ban on handheld cell phone use while driving is signed into law by Vermont's governor.

“I think for law enforcement it will be easier for them to investigate these cases,” said Sorrell.

At the assembly, students also pledged not to text and drive.

Sorrell says he plans to bring the presentation to other high schools across the state.

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