Students inspired after taking the Drive Distraction Free in the D pledge

- With the weather changing and the roads getting slick it's even more important to drive distraction free, especially for young drivers. Distracted driving causes the majority of teen crashes, which is why FOX 2 teamed up with the Michigan Secretary of State and the Sam Bernsten Law Firm to raise awareness.

Now, local students are helping us spread the message after taking part in the Drive Distraction Free in the D Pledge Drive Contest.

They tell us it was a great experience.

"It was amazing. I think it was really important for the students to actually be a part of this and give back to the community a little bit," says Julie Bukowski from South Lake High School.

"We had all almost every single student in the high school participate and take the pledge," says Wissam Charafeddine from Universal Academy Detroit.

"The whole community got involved - the whole school. It was a great, positive experience," says Julie Sartori from Marian High School.

A big congratulations to the four schools that had the highest percentage of pledges: Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills; South Lake High School in St. Clair Shores; Memphis High School in Memphis; and Universal Academy of Detroit.

Each school we talked to said the campaign had a big impact.

"It was very positive. A lot of people dont realize that a three second decision to look down at your phone can leave a lasting impact," says Elizabeth Groebbel from Marian High School.

"I'm very addicated to my phone so it was eye opening for me," says Stephanie Cardno from South Lake High School.

"I learned, basically, that everything happens so fast. You look at your phone and bam, someone's walking out in front of you; there's a tree; there's a ditch," says Brenden Francis from Memphis High School.

"Looking at a text message, it's not worth it. Don't do it," says Madison Werner from Memphis High School. "No matter who you are, your phone is not worth your life."

The winning schools each recevied a check from the Sam Bernstein Law Firm. 

The contest may be over, but the conversation continues.

"This is a conversation we need to have every day; every day we get into the car we need to talk with teens who are with us and tell them this is conduct that is enormously risky, not just for themselves but for the people in their car and everyone else around hem," says Sam Bernstein.

It's a message this group took to heart.

"The schools that participated did a great job and I think that they're very proud bec they know they will be a part of making the roads safer for everyone," says Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

We focus on teens, but we all need to remember texting and driving is against the law for all drivers -- and if you're 18 or younger you can't even use a cell phone in the car.

 

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