December 21, 2014
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Don't text and drive
AG highlights dangers of texting while driving
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SAY NO TO TEXTING: Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin was at Toll Gate High School on Friday, spreading the word about the dangers of texting and driving and reminding teenagers that it is illegal. Pictured with Kilmartin are Jordan Ethier, Mikayla Rogers and Julie Penn, the class president, vice president and secretary of the 11th grade.

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and the Rhode

Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) brought attention to the dangers of texting and driving with a high school awareness tour that visited Toll Gate High School on Friday.

But another hope would be that the kids bring the same message home to their parents. A survey conducted by AT&T reported that, “77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.”

The program at Toll Gate called, “Txtng & Drivng…It Can Wait” featured a short speaking program, after which students, teachers and guests viewed an AT&T documentary featuring families impacted by texting and driving accidents.

“We are spreading the message to young drivers across Rhode Island: No text message is so important that it’s worth taking your attention off the road and risking lives in the process,” said

Kilmartin, who sponsored the 2009 law banning texting while driving. “Whether turning the phone off, taking a pledge, or just making it a personal practice, the next time you think about sending or answering a text while operating a vehicle, please remember – ‘It Can Wait.’”

Throughout the school year, AG Kilmartin and RIDOT will bring the public awareness campaign to area high schools. It will be an uphill battle. According to the AT&T-sponsored survey, 97 percent of teens say they know that texting is dangerous but 75 percent said texting while driving is common among their friends.

“Almost all teens [89 percent] expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less,” said the survey.

According to the Attorney General’s office, approximately 600 students at the high school took a pledge to not text and drive.

“I think a lot of my friends take it much more seriously now,” said 11th grade Class President Jordan Ethier. “Most of the kids do.”

Go to www.itcanwait.com and take a no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. Schools interested in participating should contact the Office of Attorney General at 274-4400 ext 2334. For additional information on AT&T’s campaign, visit www.att.com/itcanwait.


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