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Redmond teen helps with national anti-texting while driving campaign
Eastlake High School student and Redmond resident Trisha Bhaumik has been selected as one of six young people on the national AT&T Youth Advisory panel to help create educational materials for the public for the "It Can Wait" campaign.
The campaign focuses on the dangers of texting while driving and Bhaumik, 16, helped develop the materials and messages to be used by schools, community organizations, parents and others.
"One of the contributions that I made was to offer up the idea of having assemblies at school that simulate how dangerous it is to text and drive," she said in a press release. "The example I came up with was having kids try to text a message on their phones while riding a tricycle through an obstacle course."
Bhaumik also said providing personal stories groups could share was also important.
"People will only realize the dangers of texting while driving after they hear real-life stories," she explained. "On almost every page of the 'It Can Wait' campaign website, it shows a link for 'The Last Text,' a movie which interview(ed) people who have been affected by someone's choice to text while driving. I think that this is a great idea because it's another way to introduce students to the subject of not texting while driving and sends a message that pertains to adults as well."
While the campaign is focused on teens because they send the most text messages, "It Can Wait" is for everyone who drives.
• Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind.
• The average teen sends and receives 5 times more text messages a day than a typical adult.
• Those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
• AT&T projects that the number of texts sent in 2011 across its network will be nearly double the amount sent two years ago.