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Schools tackle texting and driving

Irondequoit, N.Y. -- Dozens of area schools team up with the Ad Council of Rochester to put an end the dangers of distracted driving. Students and school officials met at Irondequoit High School to kick off the campaign Tuesday.

In a different approach, the new strategy to tackle texting and driving targets texters, not drivers.

We need new solutions, Kristina Akselrod said, Because just saying it is not going to do it, nobody is going to listen; students are going to be on their phone 24-7. A senior at Penfield High School, Akselrod said incoming texts are too tempting for teens to ignore, even when in the drivers seat. Akselrod said, Most people and I'm guilty of it too, will just look at their phone.

President and CEO of the Ad Council, Todd Butler said people know not to text and drive. People say, Im not going to it, I know it's unsafe, I know it's dangerous but then I get into my car and my phone goes off.

Bulter said the goal of the campaign, Yea, youre distracting, is to eliminate text temptation and in turn stop texting and driving. The campaign reminds students who are outside of a car that talking or text with a driver means youre putting them at risk. Before starting a conversation via text, Butler said he wants people to ask, Is that message really worth putting your loved one or your coworker or your child at risk?
Yea, youre distracting, encourages people to text responsibly and to make sure whoever they are talking to is not driving.

Just asking them if they're driving is a great thing to do, Grace DAgostino said. A senior at Irondequoit High School, DAgostino said that will prevent text temptation. If they say yes you just don't even respond to them, DAgostino said, Don't give them the option of texting you back.

Akselrod said this could be the solution that sticks with students. It makes people think more that oh maybe shes going to work and I should text her later, or maybe shes driving to school and I should wait to talk to her.
According to the campaign, distracted driving is the number one cause of death in teens; stating that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash.

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Washington Times