Thursday, May 1, 2014

St. Bernard accepts Don't Text and Drive pledge

St. Bernard Prep School’s Rotary Interact Club recently joined with ABC 33/40’s Edward Burch to take a pledge against texting while driving.

Headmaster, John Tekulve welcomed the news team and thanked Mr. Bill Nuss, Interact Sponsor, for contacting them on behalf of the Rotary Interact Club.  He also thanked Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Rotarians, Francis Cooper and John McMoy for their presence at St. Bernard. 

Clearly, cell phones are wonderful tools, but when used irresponsibly, can be deadly.  ABC 33/40 Reporter Edward Burch warned students of the dangers of texting while driving, and presented a couple of videos of police delivering deadly news to parents;  as well as parents who had been affected by a teen driver, who injured their son as a result of texting while driving.

Police Chief Kenny Culpepper told students not only was texting while driving dangerous, it was illegal, and difficult to catch.  “We see it every day.  Texting while driving is illegal, but talking on cell phone while driving is not,” Culpepper said.   “It’s difficult to know whether people are texting or dialing.”

Culpepper said persons caught texting while driving face a $25 dollar fine; the fine is cumulative and counts two points against one’s driving record.

“Everyday 1 out of 100 people are involved in a traffic accident,” Culpepper continued.  “They are twenty-eight times more likely to have an accident as a result of texting and driving.”

As an example of the dangers of texting while driving, Burch said, “If you are traveling 55 mph, five seconds while texting is like driving the length of a football field without looking.  Forty percent of teens are more likely to be in an accident.”

Texting while driving is clearly a decision.  Burch stressed to students who are passengers in a car with a texting driver, “If you are riding in their car, please ask them to stop texting or to let you out of the car.”

In conclusion, Burch invited everyone in attendance to join other students across the state by signing a “Don’t Text and Drive” pledge card.  “No text is worth your life or the life of someone else on the road.  Make a serious commitment to:  refrain from texting behind the wheel; to drive without distractions; to engage in safe driving practices; and to encourage friends and family to do the same.”

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