Summit High students take pledge to TXT L8R

NewsChannel 21 holds rally for students

Students pledge to 'TXT L8R'

BEND, Ore. - During lunch at Summit High School, it's hard to find teens without phones in their hands -- and it often carries over to driving.

"I have (texted whiled driving)," sophomore Amber Dolinar said Thursday. "It was bad. I ran (off) in the bike lane -- it was kind of scary."

NewsChannel 21 held its first 'TXT L8R' rally at Summit, setting up computers during lunch so kids could take the pledge against distracted driving.

"The majority of my friends, I would say 90 percent of them, text and drive," sophomore Joshua Golden said.

But on Thursday, a few dozen promised not to text behind the wheel. For some, it's motivation to try harder to put the phone down. For others, it was a no-brainer.

Sophomore Jeffery Wagoner has only been driving for about a week. But he says he'll never text and drive, after he lost a good friend to it.

"He was texting, ran into a ditch, broke the front in of his car and flew through and just died," Wagner said.

So he's vowed to not make that tragic mistake.

"It's just a simple text message -- you can read it later," Wagoner said.

But statistics show people read it now.

According to the National Safety Council, a car crash is caused by distracted driving every 30 seconds.

And it's estimated at any given moment, there are more than 800,000 Americans distracted behind the wheel.

Many campaigns target teenagers, but adults are just as guilty.

"My mom definitely does -- she like slows down a bunch, you can always tell when she's texting," Golden said.

"My dad does (text and drive), and my stepmom," said freshman Camryn Harper.  "It's like you want to tell them to stop because you're a little nervous, but it's a lot harder when you're a kid and you don't have a license, because it's not really your call."

A message from a 14-year-old girl who wishes her parents would look at their messages later.

NewsChannel 21's TXT L8R campaign continues with a free concert Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, featuring Mosley Wotta.

You can come down, listen to some free music and take the pledge yourself. There also will be a texting-and-driving obstacle course.

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