Teens Pledge to Not Text and Drive
Loy Norrix's Isaac Moss Honored for Raising Awareness
Isaac Moss got 25 fellow students to sign a pledge to not text and drive, which doesn’t sound like a lot — until you realize that most people he asked to sign the pledge said they texted while driving and had no intention of stopping.
Moss, who recently graduated from Loy Norrix High School, received a certificate of appreciation for his efforts from the organization Fathers Against Distracted Driving.
F.A.D.D. spoke to his law enforcement Education For Employment class at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Moss said the presentation inspired him to think more seriously about the issue of distracted driving — and in particular texting and driving.
“Everywhere you go, you see people texting and driving,” said Moss, who is enlisting in the U.S. Air Force following high school and hopes to eventually go into law enforcement. “The problem is if you get into an accident it doesn’t just affect the texters, but impacts their families and other drivers as well.”
Finding people to take the no texting and driving pledge was a little more challenging than he expected.
“A lot of people were like straight up, ‘I text while I drive. I’m not stopping,” Moss said.
That’s unfortunate, said Marv Berkowitz, founder of F.A.D.D., because teens are particularly vulnerable to crashes because of their lack of experience as drivers and because developmentally they tend to think of themselves as invincible.
But, “teenagers are only 6.8 percent of the drivers on the road and they account for 21 percent of serious accidents. Half of all teens are involved in a crash before they graduate from high school,” Berkowitz said.
The F.A.D.D. website, says things like speeding and drinking contribute to these high numbers, but that 20 to 30 percent of these crashes are due to distractions. Berkowitz also said that in 2018 Michigan saw a slight reduction in traffic death fatalities – while also seeing an increase in the number of traffic fatalities attributed to distracted driving.
The no texting and driving pledge is part of F.A.D.D.’s peer-to-peer education effort. The group also does presentations to community groups interested in learning more about the topic of distracted driving. Parents who are interested in learning more about the pledge, can find a copy on the F.A.D.D. website at www.fadd.info.
Moss said he hopes people thinking about things like setting their phones where they’re inaccessible while driving or consider using apps that can limit cellphone notifications while driving.
“There will always be the urge to look at your phone,” Moss said. “I just hope the people who signed the pledge will keep it in the back of their minds if they do hear their phones ding while they’re driving.”
Cutline: Marv Berkowitz of Fathers Against Drunk Driving presents a certificate of appreciation to Loy Norrix graduate Isaac Moss while Norrix Principal Chris Aguinaga looks on.