Bowie Students Raising Awareness Of Distracted Driving Dangers - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Bowie Students Raising Awareness Of Distracted Driving Dangers

A group of Bowie High School students is on a mission to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. But, Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out, they're determined to do more than just that. They want parents, students and teachers to make a commitment to put down the phone while behind the wheel.

Car crashes are the number on killer of teens and distracted driving is a huge factor.

"Would you want to hurt somebody? I don't think anyone would want to intentionally hurt somebody and texting and driving is going to enhance that factor," Bowie senior Jacy Bell said.

Statistics show using a cell phone while behind the wheel is just as bad as drinking and driving.  That's why the leadership class at Bowie High school is focusing their efforts on a safety campaign.

"I've texted and driven before, everyone has done it. But, once we watched the videos and people showed us that your brain doesn't function. You can't text and drive and make sure everyone's safe.," Bowie Junior Ethan Burris said.

Each week they'll be in front of a different Bowie school raising awareness.

All 38 juniors and seniors in the leadership class along with all Bowie School Board members have also signed a safe driving contract. It's a promise not to text and to use a hands free device if talking while driving. Now, the class is working to get the entire student body to sign one.

"Students aren't always apt to listen to teachers but will listen to each other. We think through positive peer pressure they will sign a contract," leadership class teacher Salli Page said.

Leadership students hope their actions will be what convinces other to make the commitment.

"If one person is doing it, hopefully everyone will follow and not be an outcast," Burris said.

Starting Wednesday, a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule goes into effect for some bus drivers. Under it, drivers can be fined more than $2,700 and lose their license if caught using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

It applies for those employed by private companies, which means it does include bus drivers for the WFISD.

We talked with Durham School Services, which is the company that runs the buses in Wichita Falls, they said they've already been enforcing this rule for the past few years and that their drivers are not allowed to use any sort of communication device, even hands free, while driving.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6

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