Teens pledge to stop texting while driving as part of The Great Hang-Up

    1:49 AM, May 27, 2010   |    comments
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    All month long we're focusing on safe driving here on "Today's THV" and asking people to pledge they will stop texting while behind the wheel.

    The Great THV Hang-Up Pledge reads: I pledge to do my best to stop using my cell phone while driving. I will not text, email or talk on my phone while I'm driving.

    Students at North Little Rock High School were eager to sign the pledge, but several had doubts they can stop cold turkey.

    For example, senior Lauren Blair is all about multi-tasking and knows that it will take hard work to stop texting while driving. "A lot of times I'm the only one in the car, so I pop [my phone] out and text," she says.

    Principal Tracy Allen says that many of the students who signed the Great Hang-Up Pledge did so in the honor of the four young people who were killed in a car crash over spring break this year.

    "They didn't live to come back to school and graduate with us, so now our students are very aware of the need to drive safely," Allen says.

    Another school that understands the loss of students due to driving distractions is McClellan High School. Just last summer three seniors were killed in a car accident right after graduation. While it was never determined that cell phones had anything to do with the crash, students there are determined not to lose anyone else.

    At Parkview Magnet High School, we found many young people with stories about friends who have survived accidents they caused because they were using their phones while driving.

    "I had one friend who was on the Interstate and she ran off the road," says Braylon Everette, who is a senior at Parkview. I have another friend who hit a stop sign, so I've learned from them."

    Students lined up at Conway High School to show their support for our Hang Up pledge. Some, like Senior Hayley Hillis and Junior Danielle Hancock, admitted they are guilty of texting and driving. After signing though, they promised they would start putting their phone down while behind the wheel.  

    After visiting five high schools in three weeks, "Today's THV This Morning" has commitments from nearly 200 teens to hang up the phone while driving.

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