High school's distracted driving event meant as wakeup call
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -
It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Fox 2 is working to spread the word about staying safe on the road.
Today parents at Royal Oak Shrine High School organized an event to give teen drivers a wakeup call about the risks of texting behind the wheel.
FOX 2: "Do you text and drive?"
"Yes," said Isabel Ray. "All the time."
That's just one distraction teenagers have when driving - which answers ranged from fiddling with music, putting makeup on and answering calls.
"Only at lights," said one student. "Not when I'm driving."
FOX 2: "Some people say texting and driving is dangerous. Do you agree?"
"Yes," said Ray.
FOX 2" "But you don't care?"
"No, because I'm good at it," Ray said.
The point of Wednesday's distracted teen driving demonstration was to enlighten them.
"It seems like kids behind the wheel are distracted by everything from texting and manipulating their phones," said Sgt. Steve Teichow, Royal Oak police. "It gives them the message here today that when they are in their car, both hands are on the wheel, you are focused on whoever is out in front of you."
But sometimes the kids just don't get it, or maybe it's a teen thing.
"Our generation doesn't wait to read something," Ray said. "It's our second nature to look down at your phone."
If you don't think texting and driving is a big deal, a texting ticket will cost $220 and a second offense will cost $330 and the cops write those tickets.
"It's a habit and I know it's dangerous but I can't break it," Ray said. "But I'm trying though."
But all the distracted stats in the world often don't mean a lot to teenagers, but one story did.
Officer John Cleveland's story hit home.
"My wife and three kids were going out to dinner and a drunk driver went through a red light and hit the van at 65 miles an hour," Cleveland said. "Ultimately killing my 3-year-old daughter.
And drunk driving is a form of distracted driving. And maybe that was the point today, just to get these kids thinking.
So did the message get through?
"Before I look at my phone next time I will think about the 3-year-old I heard the story about and think about the little babies I watch," Ray said. "And think twice."