Pocahontas School District "takes the wheel" on driving safely

Obregon responds to a message on the text and drive simulator
Obregon responds to a message on the text and drive simulator

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The Pocahontas School District was one of ten schools in the nation chosen to hold a "Phones and Fun" Mobile Safety Night at their school. AT&T put on the program, teaching kids and parents the importance of safely using phones and tablets.

One of the main attractions was the text and drive simulator.

Pocahontas Schools student, Corey Obregon tested his ability to text behind the wheel. After a few minutes of driving, Obregon glanced down for a second to respond to a text message when a car pulled out in front of him and he crashed into it.

"Anything could happen. Random car, random stop sign. Anything could happen," Obregon explained. He's only been driving for a year but already realizes the importance of putting the phone down while driving.

"It's one thing I would never do. I've seen a lot of things that could happen and I would never do that," Obregon told Region 8 News.

Though texting and driving is a major safety concern, Seth Estrada with AT&T gave those in attendance information on a wide range of topics.

One major problem Estrada sees in families is data and texting overages.

"The thing that parents most often seen and complain about, that kids just use a lot of media, consume a lot of media on these devices," Estrada said.

However, in recent years, text bullying and sexting have become a major concern as well.

"Pretty big issues that we couldn't have forseen five or ten years ago, but now parents are saying, 'Okay. How do we address this, how do we fix this?'" Estrada explained.

Estrada said Tuesday night should serve as a basis of information. He said from here, he hopes families will continue to discuss safe phone habits.

"We really hope that this just plants the seed so that parents, educators, children, will start that conversation and keep it going," Estrada said.

Estrada told Region 8 News one way to keep from texting and driving is to download the free AT&T Drive Mode App on your Android or RIM (blackberry) device. Once you are going over 25mph, the app disables notifications on your phone. If you receive a message, the app will send a message back explaining that you're driving and you'll get back in touch with them later.

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