BY ALYSSA FISHER
Cooper City High School’s Key Club and DECA have united to launch a No Texting While Driving Awareness Campaign.
According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, eleven teens die daily due to texting and driving.
The campaign will take place from December 11th to December 17th and will be working in conjunction with Allstate’s “X the TXT” program, a campaign determined to end distracted driving.
Spearheaded by juniors Felicia Steinberg and Jennifer Tintner, seniors Briana Wasserstrom, Tandy Tiramai, and Jenna Luks, with the help of Key Club advisor, Julie Klitzner, DECA advisor, Brian Chalk, along with Allstate representative Stacy Kagan, this project is meant to make students and parents aware of the dangers of texting while driving. The goal is to have people sign pledges promising to desist from texting and while driving, as well as a petition to make Florida’s roads permanently text free.
On Wednesday, November 17th, CCHS hosted a kick off event at 2:30 under the red awning. Students from Key Club, DECA, and NHS attended to show their support for the cause by signing a pledge and a petition. They received rubber thumb rings with the phrase, “ Txting Kills” printed on it to help them avoid any temptation to text while on the road. After they pledged, students and teachers took turns attempting to master walking in a straight line with special goggles meant to simulate the impact of texting while driving. Channel 7 News followed the whole event as a feature for its on going special on refraining from texting and driving. Sophomore and DJ Jake Miller livened up the event with some popular tunes, and senior Erin Maloney gave an emotional and compelling monologue depicting the dangers of texting while driving.
“Looking at the crowd, I can tell that it was really successful,” Steinberg said. “I think we got through to people.”
CCHS’s project leaders have much more in store to ensure their success in reaching out to teenagers. The students are taking the opportunity to spread awareness to people outside of the school on Monday, November 22nd at Pembroke Pine Lexus during their hybrid car unveiling, and on Friday, December 3rd at Light Up Cooper City.
A pep rally has been planned for Saturday, December 11th, at the Cooper City Optimist Fields to obtain maximum exposure. Key Club and DECA will be teaching participants how dangerous texting and driving is, while music and games will round up the community in helping the cause.
On Tuesday, December 14th, Kagan is coming to Cooper City High to lead an interactive assembly about texting and driving. The assembly will include a mother’s true story. Later that day, Mayor Debby Eisinger will lead a Cooper City Commission Meeting where she will declare the week of December 11th through the 17th “No Texting and Driving Awareness Week” in Cooper City.
Wednesday, December 15th will be “white out day”: students will dress in white to show their support for the cause. This will be a countywide event.
On Thursday, December 16th, Kagan will lead a pep rally during the lunches at CCHS to further spread awareness to students.
To end the campaign week, CTV will show a documentary about texting and driving. Throughout the week, public service announcements will be displayed on CTV Today.
“It’s really exciting to watch this project take off,” Tintner said. “I feel like we are making a difference and saving lives.”