clearn.png
Thursday October 28th, 2021 4:18AM

AT&T, Lanier Tech host "Drive 4 Pledges" event for local students

By Alyson Shields Reporter
CUMMING - Early Tuesday afternoon, students from both Lanier Tech and local high schools gathered at Lanier Technical College's Forsyth Conference Center for "Drive 4 Pledges Day" as part of a college and career fair. The seminar featured Senator Jack Murphy (R- District 27) spoke to the students about the law he pushed forward in 2010.

"When I was young, you couldn't tell me what to do. 'Don't tell me what to do, even if it's going to save my life. Don't tell me what to do.' I was that way about the seat belt law when that came in. But finally I figured out that hey, this is gonna kill me," Murphy told the students. "But texting is a whole lot different. It's not just going to kill me, but it's going to kill someone else." Murphy asked the group who had texted and drove previously and almost every hand went up. He continued on to admit that he, too, has texted and drove in the past. "But I don't do it anymore," he said.

The law, called Caleb's Law, was created in honor of Caleb Sorohan, a student at what was then North Georgia College and State University. When he was home on Christmas break , he crashed into another vehicle head on while he was distracted by a text message. Murphy pushed the bill forward and it was accepted into law in 2010.

"We had a tough time with this bill, you would think that it's just common sense for you not to do that," said Murphy.

Cell phone provider AT&T, who also sponsored the event with Lanier Technical College, got on board with the law and created the "It Can Wait" program in 2009. By May of this year, over 100 organizations joined the initiative.

"We sell smart phones... but we also believe it's important to teach our customers how to use them appropriately," said AT&T NE Georgia Regional Director Paul Chambers. "We saw that this was becoming an epidemic of people using devices inappropriately so we started this campaign four years ago to say there's no text message that you can send or receive while you're driving that can't wait until you get to wherever you're going." He also said a driver that is also texting is 23 times more likely to get in an accident. "The average text message takes 5 seconds to type.... it's as if you've driven the length of a football field blindfolded."

Students in the audience particularly agreed with the idea, but admitted it was difficult in practice. "I don't think it should be done because it's dangerous," said Lanier Tech student Candace Moore. "I know I'm guilty of it, sometimes I'll be like 'Okay, I'll just send just a really quick text' and the iPhone has that microphone now and sometimes I'll do that, but it's still distracting." Moore said she told her friends not to text and drive but was still working on stopping herself.

An older student, Svetlana Remick, felt that texting at stop lights was okay. "I feel like I'm in control of the situation. I don't have to concentrate on the road. But I have a rule - I only say yes or no and I don't go into details," she said. "It's not really texting, more like checking."

At the end of the fair, AT&T representatives had a binder full of signatures belonging to students who decided to think twice about texting and driving. Representatives, along with Lanier Tech officials and Senator Murphy discussed ways to prevent texting and driving, including an Android Application that auto-replies to text messages with an "I'm driving" message using a GPS signal and the "Rubber Band" method developed by Morgan County High School in honor of Caleb Sorohan. The method utilizes a green rubber band placed around the phone when the driver gets in the car, as a reminder that the text can wait.

Chambers summed it up: "when we talk about texting and driving... we're talking about people's lives," Chambers said. "If you know somebody is driving, don't text them."

September 19 is the offical Drive 4 Pledges Day.
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 7 years ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 7 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 7 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 7 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 7 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 7 years ago )
Local/State News
GDOL: Gainesville metro unemployment rises in December
The December unemployment report for the Gainesville metro area showed an increase in the jobless rate, an increase in first-time unemployment claims and a reduction in employed residents.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Tallulah Falls Town Council approves sale of former Arts Center
A town-owned building on U.S. 441/Ga. 15 in Tallulah Falls could get another chance at life as an event center, offering dining and food services as well as retail sales and services.
9:30AM ( 2 days ago )
AAA: Georgia gas prices up a penny, Gainesville metro among areas with lowest prices
Gasoline prices increased in Georgia again this past week, although the increase was much more moderate than in recent weeks.
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:56AM ( 4 days ago )
GDOL: Georgia jobless rate dips to 5.6% in December
Georgia's labor commissioner said December showed some promising job growth across the state, and the state unemployment rate dropped a bit, as well.
By AccessWDUN staff
2:15PM ( 1 week ago )
Helen Chamber of Commerce will apply for COVID-19 aid
The Helen Chamber of Commerce will apply for federal funding to offset income loss caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
5:05AM ( 1 week ago )