The South Carolina Press Association has teamed up with AT&T to combat texting while driving through a video and essay contest encouraging young people to take the “It Can Wait” pledge.
“Texting while driving is a statewide problem and we hope this can bring some education to the young people in our state,” said SCPA executive director Bill Rogers.
In the United States, more than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, and 43 percent of teens admit to texting while driving, according to the press association. At the same time, 90 percent of teens say they would stop if a friend in the car asked.
By having this contest, Rogers hopes more young people will think carefully about texting and driving and realize it’s not worth it. They’re utilizing the power of the press in the hopes of reaching more people.
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“Newspapers are an important part of the community and a great way to get the word out,” Rogers said.
So far, more than 30 newspapers, including The Herald, have signed on to be part of the contests.
In Rock Hill, police spokesman Mark Bollinger said officers see plenty of people texting while driving every day.
“It’s a big problem,” he said. “We have definitive evidence that it results in a lot of collisions in Rock Hill.”
Bollinger said it will take a lot of education and changing of habits to correct the epidemic of texting while driving.
“As the theme says, ‘It can wait,’ ” Rogers said.