Oak Ridge High School has teamed up with ASAP of Anderson County and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office to host a campaign that asks students, teachers, and staff to pledge to not text and drive.
The campaign is called One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.
April is designated as national Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office. In recognition of that, Oak Ridge High School is taking a stand against texting and driving, a press release said.
The Oak Ridge High School ASAP Youth Coalition hosted the campaign this week along with ASAP of Anderson County, Oak Ridge Schools Coordinated School Health, and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office.
Members of the ORHS ASAP Youth Coalition were available in the lobby on Tuesday, April 7, and Thursday, April 9, before and after school to encourage fellow students, teachers, and other school personnel to take the pledge, the press release said. The process is easy—sign the banner, place your thumb print on the banner, and receive an Oak Ridge High School car air freshener for your vehicle.
“This is to serve as a reminder that ‘One Text or Call Could Wreck It All'” the release said. After the campaign, the banner will be placed in the lobby of Oak Ridge High School.
The release said Oak Ridge Schools Assistant Superintendent Christopher Marczak is very supportive of this campaign.
“We are excited to encourage all of our students to participate in the One Text or Call Can Wreck It All campaign,” Marczak said. “We want our students to be safe and to be in class every Monday morning. Distracted driving is unsafe driving and puts all of us in danger.”
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were 20,916 crashes involving a distracted driver in 2014 that resulted in 47 fatalities. There were 644 crashes in Anderson County involving drivers ages 15-24. When people text and drive, a crash is 23 times more likely to occur.
Parents can help their children when they are behind the wheel by encouraging their children to abide by the “5 to Drive” rules from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office:
- No drinking and driving
- Buckle up. Every trip, every time—front seat and back
- Put it down—One Text or Call Could Wreck It All
- Stop speeding before it stops you
- No more than one passenger at a time.
Visit http://tntrafficsafety.org/programs/teen- driver-education for more information.
There are also phone applications that can help keep our children safe while driving, such as Canary-Teen Safety, AT&T DriveMode, and ParentBlocked. Most of the apps are free and can be a great tool to help keep our teen drivers safe. If you would like more information or would like to get involved, contact Jen Laurendine at (865) 425-9028 or Stacey Pratt at (865) 457-3007.
“Texting and driving is against the law in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “We are committed to enforcing this law to the full extent. You might think you are hiding your actions from us, but we are continually coming up with innovative ways to catch and deter this behavior. It is unacceptable for a family in Tennessee to experience the loss of a loved one because someone made the choice to read or respond to a text message while driving.”