Students pledged to not text and drive after a national campaign designed to discourage the practice came to Whitman High School on Thursday.
The national It Can Wait campaign is sponsored by AT&T and other mobile phone carriers. The goal is to prevent accidents resulting from texting while driving.
Students signed cards pledging not to drive and some said they'd made friends stop mixing the two activities. More than one mentioned that their parents sometimes were guilty of it.
Assemb. Chad Lupinacci, R-Huntington Station, joined with Brandon Ray, regional director of external affairs for AT&T, and Suffolk police officer Drew Fiorello and others to remind students of the physical and legal hazards of doing both simultaneously.
“Too often, these tragic accidents could have been prevented by a driver simply by putting down the phone and waiting to text until they’ve arrived safely at their destination," Lupinacci said. "While this is true for all drivers, it hits home especially with young drivers, many of whom are getting behind the wheel for the first time. No text is worth the cost of a life."
"It's not socially acceptable," said one student who signed the pledge. When he sees friends driving and texting, "I yell at them."
The students watched a 10-minute film, "The Last Text,” filled with moving accounts of families who have lost relatives or those been badly injured in accidents in which texting was a factor.