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Stirpe urges drivers to take his I-Pledge to not text and drive

— “On my way.” “Running late.” “Love you.” Reading or typing these simple text messages could easily cause a serious accident. In 2012 alone, more than 25 percent of all crashes in Onondaga County were caused by driver inattention or distraction, including texting while driving. We need to try and put an end to this dangerous practice.

I’m asking all drivers, young and old, to take the iPledge to not text and drive. You can participate by going to tinyurl.com/stirpepledge and clicking on the link. Like sending that text message, it only takes a few seconds, but instead of putting yourself and others at risk, by pledging to not text and drive, you could be saving lives, including your own.

The average length of time a person spends looking at their cell phone while texting — and not at the road — is five seconds. I have a visual for you: If that person is driving at 55 miles per hour, by the time those five seconds are up, they’ve driven the length of a football field. For another example of how quickly an accident can occur when you text and drive, take a look at this recently viral video that demonstrates how quickly a text distraction can cause devastating results (tinyurl.com/stirpedonttextanddrive).

School is going to be out for the summer soon, which means that we’ll have more young drivers on the road. While they certainly aren’t the only offenders, more than 70 percent of teens and young people say they’ve sent or read a text while driving. That’s astounding. It’s why I’ve been working to make our roads safer. Most recently, I supported a law that cracks down on new drivers who text while driving. Upon first conviction, the driver will have their license suspended for 120 days, and upon a second conviction, their license will be revoked for a full year.

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