AG Strange asks Ala. teens to never text while driving - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AG Strange asks Ala. teens to never text while driving

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AT&T handed out small boxes students can store their phones in while driving. Source: Jonathan Hardison AT&T handed out small boxes students can store their phones in while driving. Source: Jonathan Hardison
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GARDENDALE, AL (WBRC) -

Alabama's Attorney General stopped by Gardendale High School this morning to ask hundreds of high schoolers to make him a promise: never text and drive.

The visit was part of a national "Drive 4 Pledges" campaign and it's an issue that AG Luther Strange considers a major public safety issue.

His office says drivers distracted by texting while driving were involved in more than 1,000 crashes in Alabama last year, injuring 362 people and killing 10.

"I see texting while driving more than you can imagine as I drive around the state, which is a lot. It's a huge safety danger and my message to the young people is, 'It Can Wait,'" Strange said.

Strange brought that message along with an emotional video and the backing of major cell phone companies to Gardendale High School. He asked for a show of hands of who was willing to promise right then and there that they wouldn't text while driving.

"Reaching out to teens while they are in habit-forming years when they're about to get behind the wheel, we're trying to encourage them to not text and drive," Terri Williams with AT&T said.

AT&T provided boxes that teens can store their phones in while driving. They're also promoting a new app called "Drive Mode" that allows you to send an auto-reply to texts or emails and sends calls directly to voicemail while you're driving.

"We emphasize no texting while driving on a daily basis. Like I tell the kids everyday: who would think we live in a society where texting and the telephone issues is killing as many or affecting as many lives if not more as drinking and driving. It's a problem in our society and we can't talk about it enough," Barry Brake, driver's ed teacher, said.

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