Teens warned against texting and driving
AT&T Director of External Affairs Christine Moore looks out at Southwest High School students as they watch a short film regarding the dangers of texting while driving, Friday morning in El Centro. (ERIC MILLER PHOTO / January 12, 2013)
A short documentary and a testimonial from a fellow classmate helped send AT&T’s main message, “it can wait.”
“I was looking at the GPS on my phone when I got in a car accident,” said Phoebee Cadrez, a 16-year-old junior. “It’s not texting but it’s still a distraction.”
Students also had the opportunity to try out a simulator, which tested how long it would take them to get in an accident if they were texting.
“No text message is worth dying for,” said Christine Moore, director of external affairs at AT&T California. “We want to target this age group because it is the most vulnerable.”
Officials from the city of El Centro were also on hand to discourage students from texting while driving and causing potential harms to themselves or others.
“I’m here to offer a friendly warning,” said Eddie Madueño, executive commander with the El Centro Police Department. “Hopefully this will be all the warning you need and I won’t have to give you a ticket in the future.”
El Centro City Councilman Jason Jackson urged students to think of the void they would leave in the community if something were to happen to them.
“We live in a very small community,” Jackson said. “Every tragedy resonates with the entire community and it can affect a lot of people.”
Southwest High Associated Student Body Adviser Magnolia Martinez said she hoped the students would relay the message they learned to their friends and family.
“When AT&T approached us we were very happy to participate,” Martinez said. “This is the type of message we need to be sending kids.”