Take the pledge not to text and drive | Community Spirit
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is encouraging every high school student in the state to take the W8 2 TXT (wait to text) pledge. From now until April 30, students can sign up online at www.w82txtpledge.com to agree that they will not text while driving their vehicles.
The campaign will culminate with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Highway Patrol Community Relations Officers will be visiting local Subway stores for ‘W8 2 TXT Wednesdays’ during the month of April, distributing wrist bands, pledge cards and answering safe driving questions (local media markets will be sent the dates for W8 2 TXT Wednesdays).
SCDPS, along with Subway restaurants in SC, kicked off the campaign at six high schools in the state at the end of January. Troopers will be visiting high schools from now through prom season to talk to students about safe driving and emphasize the deadly consequences of distractions – including texting – behind the wheel.
Students can still get free wrist bands with the W8 2 TXT message printed on them at participating Subway restaurants while supplies last (no purchase is necessary). These wristbands can be worn or used to stretch across teens’ phones as a reminder to wait until they are stopped and safe, before sending or reading their messages.
The state is divided into six regions -- Upstate, Rock Hill/Charlotte, Midlands, Pee Dee/Grand Strand, Lowcountry and Aiken/Augusta -- for the competition. The school with the highest percentage of pledges in each of those regions will be awarded a free lunch hosted by Subway restaurants.
Ashley Marriah, a 20-year-old victim of a texting and driving collision, spoke at each of the kickoff events. She continues to visit high schools in the state to share her story of how one quick text to her mother nearly cost her life on I-385 in Greenville County last year. She suffered permanent scars after her vehicle flipped several times and she was partially ejected. Her story may be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNl2Ak38vGk.
Last year, 165 teens ages 15-24 died in motor vehicle collisions in South Carolina.
“Our goal is to get the W8 2 TXT message and wristband to every teen driver in the state,” said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. “It is absolutely critical that teens understand the risks posed by texting while driving.”