Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Parent to Parent: Texting and Driving
Studies have found texting behind the wheel is the equivalent to driving after drinking four beers, but many teens still text and drive. Now some local students are working hard to end the trend for good 7's Lynn Martinez shows us in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- It's a scene we see way too often: teenagers texting behind the wheel. The statistics are staggering.
Jenny Tintner, Cooper City High student: "Every day, 11 teens are killed because of texting and driving. This is completely inexcusable and completely preventable."
These students at Cooper City High School feel so strongly, they are asking fellow students to pledge never to do it.
Jenny Tintner: "We started a 'No Texting and Driving' campaign to make teens aware that they should not be texting and driving. They need to put down their phone in the car."
Jenny and Felicia, both juniors, organized this rally to make students very aware of the dangers.
Jenny Tintner: "Actually last week, two kids at school got in a car crash leaving the parking lot, because they weren't paying attention and texting."
Part of the problem? Many teens feel invincible, like there's no way they could get hurt or cause an accident.
Felicia Steinberg, Cooper City High student: "Since teenagers get their license when they're 16, they think they're the best drivers and they're finally free and think, 'Oh, it won't happen to me.'"
Some admit their parents are not setting a good example.
Jordan Shears, Ninth Grader: "I have to take the phone away. My mom has an iPhone, and I just put it away."
7's Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says mom and dad may love to text too, but you have to be a good role model.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "First of all, parents have to put down their phones in the car and use that time to speak with their children. It's the best time."
Dr. Val says, use your time in the car to talk with your child, not on the phone, teach your kids at an early age that texting behind the wheel is not OK, and that they don't have to respond to a text the second they get one.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "We have to teach them differently, that it's OK not to return a text right away."
Students signed petitions to make Florida a text-free state and pledged never to text and drive by marking a banner with their thumbprint.
Those just getting their learner's permit say this really taught them a lesson.
Kevin Luks, 10th Grader: "I never knew so many people could die just from texting in a car. It really affected me. I'm going to let all my friends know."
Max Frost, 11th Grader: "I would rather wait to send the text about the pizza party later than end up in the hospital, send a text, 'Hey, mom. I'm in the hospital.'"
Lynn Martinez: "The students plan to continue collecting signatures and send them to Tallahassee in the hopes of making Florida a text-free state."