Many Islanders are pledging not to text while driving.
The Youth and Family Services Department’s Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition is promoting community safety by inviting residents to commit to driving without cell phone distraction. During the weekend of Summer Celebration, over 1,000 people pledged not to text and drive by signing a banner that can now be viewed at Mercerdale Park (and soon, City Hall).
The 2014 Healthy Youth Survey found that 66 percent of Mercer Island High School (MIHS) seniors reported riding in a vehicle driven by someone texting or emailing during a typical month. Although CTC’s primary focus is underage substance abuse prevention, the CTC-supported high school prevention club (“SAFE”) received a grant from the Traffic Safety Commission to address this risky behavior. These efforts led to the idea of collecting signatures of those pledging to “Never Text and Drive.”
Meanwhile, the CTC is encouraged that the number of MIHS 12th graders reporting having an alcoholic drink in a typical month has decreased over 20 percent since 2000. The Coalition hopes to see similar reductions of high risk behavior by bringing attention to the problem of distracted driving. For more information, contact CTC Project Director Derek Franklin at 206-275-7745.