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Texting & Driving campaign in Wisconsin Rapids


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) -- Several agencies and businesses are continuing to spread the message about the dangers of texting and driving.

Jessica Erickson from AT&T says today, the “It Can Wait” campaign comes to Wisconsin Rapids. “We’re joining with Triple-A and the State Patrol to host a no texting while driving assembly at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, to really drive home the message about the dangers of texting while driving and to urge high school students in particular and all drivers to take the pledge to never text and drive, and really make that a life-long commitment.”

The program at Lincoln High School starts at 2:00 p.m.

Erickson says the message is important, because many school aged drivers are inexperienced and they falsely believe it would never happen to them.  “They are new and inexperienced drivers, and they are really connected to their cell phones. We know that teens know this is dangerous and against the law, but they’re still doing it anyway, and I think after they’ve seen this message, I think it really causes them to take a second to look back and re-think their driving habits.”

One of the speakers is Reggie Shaw from Salt Lake City, Utah. Shaw says he made the mistake of texting and driving eight years ago.  “I was texting and driving, and coming the other way was two men, and I went across the center line and I hit their car. Both men were killed on impact. It’s something that I think about every day and I regret it every single day.”

Erickson says AT&T produced a movie called “From One Second to the Next” which can be seen online. It shows how texting and driving deaths have affected the drivers and the families of victims.

The Wisconsin Rapids area has another reason to remember the dangers of texting and driving. John French is serving ten years in prison for the death of Robert Walker in 2010. French ran a stop sign at Highways 73 and “Z” on December 6th, 2010, just six days after the state law took effect banning texting while driving.

(You can hear our interviews with Jessica Erickson and Reggie Shaw on our website with these hyperlinks.)