Local students learn dangers of texting and driving in health class

Local students learn dangers of texting and driving in health class

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A new app may be the solution to putting a stop to texting and driving. Apple is looking to patent an app that would lock out certain functions of a phone while a car is in motion.

Until that app is available, one La Crosse teacher is doing his part to inform students about the dangers of texting and driving.

The topic of texting and driving isn't officially in the health education curriculum at Central High School, but one teacher knows it's a big issue in today's technology-driven world, so he's glad to take a few days to remind his students to put down their phones.

Mr. George's health class is not always about learning the bones in the body.

"I really try to emphasize with the kids about how decisions they're making right now can impact the rest of their lives," Nahmie George, health education teacher at Central High School, said.

George said teens see texting and driving as such a minor thing, but he wants them to realize that aside from being against the law, it could have a lasting consequence.

"In the last couple of years average about eight to 10 citations a year for texting and driving, and most of those are at the result of an accident investigation," Lt. Pat Hogan, of the La Crosse Police Department, said.

"When you're dealing with teenagers they're not always thinking about their future, so a lot of it is just trying to make them realize that what they're doing now could impact them later on in life," George said.

"I don't think the teenagers or the people that do text and drive realize the affect that it can have," Faith Skinner, junior at Central High School, said.

High school juniors, Skinner and Faith Hennessey try to do their part to make sure they are safe when they're behind the wheel.

"If I'm in a car with someone who is texting, I usually take their phone away from them and I will say, 'What do you want me to say in this message?'" Hennessey said.

The girls are members of the Central Students Against Destructive Decisions organization, a group with a goal to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.

"Everyone needs to realize that it's not just them in the car; they're responsible for everyone else and everyone else around them," Hennessey said.

"Just thinking about those dangers is why i think we need to talk about it," George said.

The Students Against Destructive Decisions group has raised awareness in the past about the dangers of texting and driving by handing out thumb rings. When a student would look down to text, he or she would see the ring and be reminded to put down the phone.

The La Crosse Police Department said a ticket for texting and driving costs about $190.

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