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Coventry students reminded of texting dangers

November 1, 2013

A Coventry High School senior signs her name to a petition yesterday promising not to text and drive at a presentation held in the school's auditorium yesterday. Jessica Boisclair. Daily Times.

COVENTRY— Following the success of last year’s “It Can Wait” campaign, members of the attorney general’s office, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), AT&T and the local and state police departments visited Coventry High School Thursday morning to educate the students about the dangers of texting while driving.

To date, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has visited 22 schools across the state, where 8,600 students have pledged to not text and drive.

“Texting while driving is a major problem, both in Rhode Island and across the country. We have seen multiple accidents right here in Rhode Island in which distracted driving and/or texting while driving was a contributing factor,” said Kilmartin. “Just as it took time and education to convince people to wear seat belts, it will take time to change attitudes about how dangerous it is to text and drive.”

RIDOT State Traffic Engineer Bob Rocchio explained to the senior class that texting takes an average of three to five seconds to send.

“If you’re driving at 50 mph you would have traveled 360 feet with your eyes off the road,” he said. “That’s equivalent to driving longer than the length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

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