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Local teens pledge not to text and drive
by Tribune Staff
Mar 27, 2011 | 2206 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPARKS — Students from Spanish Springs High School took a pledge this week to put their cell phones down and focus on the road as part of the Allstate Foundation’s national “X the TXT” campaign.

The program was presented by the Allstate Foundation and Health World as part of Allstate’s national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.

Allstate agency owner Ramie Pratt of Reno talked about the dangers of texting while driving with participants, who added their thumbprints to an oversized pledge banner to symbolize their promise not to text and drive.

“Everyone is susceptible to distractions behind the wheel,” Pratt said. “Pledging not to text and drive is a simple act that can help ensure those we love come home safely. No text is worth risking a life.”

Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing drivers today, particularly teens. According to a recent Allstate Foundation study, 49 percent of teens admit to being extremely distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving; however, 82 percent of teens still say they use their cell phone behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports driver distraction contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.

“Health World was excited to bring the X the TXT campaign to Spanish Springs,” said Peter Rusin, executive director of Health World. “We want to encourage teens in our community to drive safely, and that means educating them about the dangers of texting and driving.”

Allstate’s X the TXT is a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage teens and their families to pledge not to text and drive. The movement began in November 2009 with a 30-city national tour of live pledge events, a Facebook virtual pledge page and a petition urging Congress to address the issue of texting while driving.

Since its launch, more than 80,000 people have made the pledge not to text and drive. Upon pledging, participants receive thumb bands with the words “TXTNG KLLS” to wear as a daily reminder of their commitment. Family pledge cards are passed out to everyone who makes the pledge to help get a conversation started at home and encourage families to commit to safer, focused driving.

To make the pledge not to text and drive or for more information on the X the TXT pledge program, visit www.facebook.com/xthetxt.
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