Over the past few years, parents here in California and across the country have implemented family policies against distracted driving. With the help of documents like the Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract, parents have effectively set the tone that teens should stop talking, texting, and typing behind the wheel. In 2009, California dad Wayne Irving II took this a step further, when he launched Textkills.com, a non-profit advocacy organization that has since been endorsed by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Naomi Campbell, and even Simon Cowell.
Irving launched textkills.com after noticing how addicted his daughter was to her cell phone. Noticing her texting all day long, from the dinner table to the living room, Irving began thinking about the more dangerous implications of her so-called addiction. “I think we all know someone who has been involved in some kind of accident that has to do with texting while driving,” he said.
Since, Irving and Textkills.com have had enormous success, driven largely by their 36-foot bus that travels across the country teaching about the dangers of distracted driving. The bus has already collected more than 15,000 signatures and has even been invited by the Department of Transportation to visit he White House. “It was an amazing cross-country tour that included 26 colleges, three high schools and more in 29 days,” said Iriving. “It was an effort to bring awareness to the youth that texting while driving is a dangerous and trivial act that can kill within seconds. We brought a lot of attention to the subject, but more needs to be done.”
It’s great to see that fathers like Irving are doing their part to end distracted driving here in California and across the country. But teenagers are also motivating each other to put down the phone while their driving. As Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood pointed out on his blog yesterday, the National Organizations for Youth Safety is currently planning a Teen Distracted Driving Summit for mid-October in Washington DC.
As long as parents and teens alike are spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving, we have a chance of cutting down on the dangerous practice that has become the number one killer of teens nationwide.
Photo credit: Lord Jim