Mission High School

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MHS students raise awareness of distracted driving

In a recent health class presentation at Mission High School (MHS), a guest speaker from a local driving school asked students if they have ever texted while driving. A handful of students reluctantly raised their hands. The speaker then asked how many have parents who text while driving. The number of hands raised increased quite a bit.
Despite local laws against the practice and headline grabbing accidents caused by someone distracted by their phones, most people have probably seen someone texting from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
In the hyper-connected world of today, the temptation to grab the phone after hearing notifications of an incoming text, email, or social media posting can be very strong, even while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
So how do students avoid the temptation? Many said they would put their phones in the glove compartments or tuck their phones in similar places out of reach and out of sight.
The issue of distracted driving caught the attention of students at Mission High School. The Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant Program embarked on a joint awareness campaign this fall to combat the issue. The campaign ties in with one at the national level called It Can Wait. The campus efforts have included posters, banners, announcements, classroom presentations, and a pledge day.
On the pledge day, HOSA student volunteers worked the lunch periods asking students to sign pledge cards that indicate they would: protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving; be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in the car is distracted; and encourage friends and family to drive phone-free. Their goal was to get at least 1,000 pledges signed.
To learn more about the issue of distracted driving and to take the It Can Wait pledge, visit www.itcanwait.com.
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