Local Teens Vow Not to Text and Drive

By KBJR News 1

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM CDT

For most parents, the day your child gets their drivers license is a scary one.

Not only are they out on their own operating a potentially dangerous two ton vehicle, but unlike when you were a kid, they face many distracting temptations.

Some local teens are now vowing to keep their eyes forward, and encouraging others to do the same.

Eating, applying makeup, changing the music, and most commonly, texting. They're all forms of distracted driving, which according to the National Highway Safety Administration, caused 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009.

And Minnesota State Patrol says the number is probably even higher than that.

"It's just real hard to prove that that was the cause of the crash unless they admit it, and most people won't admit that they were texting at the time they hit the car in front of them," says Lt. Quint Stainbrook of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Those under the age of 20 are the biggest offenders of driving distracted.
But not all go with the trend.

"When I'm driving, I can feel my phone in my pocket but eventually I'll be at where ever I'm going, and I'll look at it when I get a chance," says Anthony Rogentine.

In fact, a group of students from high schools across the region are pledging to put their phones away, and keep their eyes forward.

"I took the pledge because it matters that every teen knows how much texting actually affects their lives and the lives around them," Jennifer Asanovich.

By signing the pledge, each teen takes a stand against texting while driving.

And they're determined to have their friends and classmates do the same. The day I caught up with them, they were recording a television commercial to encourage people to take the pledge.

And it's not something they take lightly.

"I just started driving so I don't want to be the source of one of those horrible stories that you see or hear on the news. I want to be the one standing up for their school and helping to stop it," Hailey Wolvertine.

To take the pledge, log onto our website northlandsnewscenter.com, print out a form, and once signed you can take it to any Papa Murphey's location to receive a "Keep your eyes forward" bracelet.