Drivers in Region 8 pledge not to text - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Drivers in Region 8 pledge not to text

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Startek and KAIT are joining together to make the roadways safer with the ‘Stay Focused and Drive" campaign that kicked off Monday.

 Region 8 residents are being asked to take the pledge to not text while driving. Recruiting Manager for Startek, Lacey Hawkins, says a number of Startek employees expressed an interest in taking some form of action to bring the problem to the forefront. "As a technology related company, a couple of our employees were inspired by some of the things they had seen on television and heard in the news about the dangers of dying while texting, so we just decided as a company that it was our responsibility to educate our employees and hopefully the community about the dangers of it."

Hawkins says they put together of number of different things work to raise awareness on the issue. "We've been setting up today to let people sign up and pledge not text while you're driving, give thumb bands out to the employees that say 'It can wait', because obviously no text is worth dying over or getting into an accident. So, it's really gone over well. We're hoping to fill the entire building with people wearing these thumb bands and hopefully spread it out to the community, as well."

Jonesboro resident, Laura McQuay, was a speaker at Monday's announcement and is the fiancé Paul Davidson who was killed on his way home in July of 2008 when a driver that was texting crossed over the center line. Paul died at the scene of the accident, while the other driver walked away.

McQuay says she and Paul's children hope to help people to stop and think. "We've all done it and the situation that's happened to us has made me change how I do things. We don't do it anymore and we want everyone to know just how serious it is. We know because of our personal tragedy, but so many people out there think it can't happen to them and it does. Who ever thought that I would be twenty-six and widowed already and my children would be fatherless. Everything has changed from that one day. It was just a bad choice. It was an accident. The law and everything is just to prevent more accidents like this and to make people stop and think."

McQuay says she was thrilled when she heard what Startek and KAIT employees were up to and wanted to be a part of it. "I was really excited to hear that they were doing this. It's what we wanted. I was proud."

Hawkins says they hope to make an impact on others in the community. "We have four hundred and twenty-five employees. And if all of our employees buy into the idea, sign the pledge, get out and decide not to text and drive that's a lot of people out on the road who are driving safely and not putting others in danger."

Startek employee Bridgette Oldman is the mother of three and thinks this campaign is a great idea. "I thought it was great. I made it home late one day to take some pledge's home to my kids, especially with them being twenty and seventeen they're texting all the time. My daughter texts fifteen hundred a week so I really wanted to take this home to them and have them commit to me they wouldn't text and drive."

Oldman says texting is a problem she sees every day. "On a daily basis coming to and from work I see people texting and driving, some who have almost hit me or run a red light, and I don't want my kids to be the one that runs that red light and gets side swiped and possibly lose their life."

To sign up and pledge to stay focused and drive, go to our website to sign up.

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