Dave Hargrove, Regional Director for AT&T Alabama, presented a program on texting while driving at Hartselle High School Thursday. | Brent Maze
Dave Hargrove, Regional Director for AT&T Alabama, presented a program on texting while driving at Hartselle High School Thursday. | Brent Maze

Archived Story

‘It can wait’

Published 2:20pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hartselle students make pledges to not text and drive

Hartselle High School students were challenged to make a pledge to stop texting while driving Thursday afternoon.

Dave Hargrove, regional director for AT&T Alabama, said that one of the leading causes of death for teens is automobile crashes. A large percentage of those crashes are due to distracted driving.

“Ninety-seven percent of teens and 98 percent of adults know that it’s unsafe to text while driving,” Hargrove said. “However, we do it anyway.”

“We’re constantly checking our smartphones whether its buzzing or not,” he added. “It’s important that we learn to leave it alone or ask someone else in the car to check it for us.

“I have a sign that’s hanging in my car to remember not to text while driving. I have to remind myself not to do that.”

To help drive home the point, Hargrove showed the film entitled “From One Second to the Next.” The presentation highlighted stories of people who were affected by crashes that were caused by someone texting while driving.

“On average, it takes about five seconds to send a text message. That’s five seconds that your eyes aren’t on the road,” Hargrove said.

In addition to Hargrove’s presentation, the student body watched a film produced by former student Caitlin Beard, who did an anti-distracted driving video for her Gold Award project for Girl Scouts. Beard is now a student at Troy University.

“It’s something that we’ve had to live with for the last 14 years,” said Kathy Beard, her mother. “Her older sister was killed when her car was struck by a train. Distracted driving played a part in that crash.”

Beard said that she was proud of her daughter producing the video.

“She did a great job with it,” Beard said. “She did it to raise awareness about distracted driving.”

Beard said the video has not yet been posted on YouTube. Her family has shared it with a few others before showing it to the Hartselle High School student body.

Hargrove said those wishing to make the pledge may do so by logging on to www.itcanwait.com.

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