SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Thousands across the country die from texting and driving. Most of them are teenagers and no matter how many times they are told to stop, they keep doing it.
Nine months ago texting and driving became illegal in the state of Georgia. Schools across the state are holding classes to get teens to stop texting and driving. On Friday, one Bulloch County school brought in a special guest.
Bulloch Academy decided what better way to get the message across than to bring in someone the students would recognize to talk about the topic.
Chad, from the Alltel Wireless commercials, made the trip hoping he could reach out to students more than their parents or teachers may be able to. The students took part in skits to show each other how dangerous texting and driving can be.
"It's not safe, its simply if you are driving, don't text. I know I've done it in my past. It's one second that can make all the difference. It's not just with teens, adults do it too," Alltel Wireless Spokesman Chad told WTOC.
When former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed the texting and driving bill into law he did so with some reservation. He called the law vague and questioned how it would be enforced by law enforcement. Chief David Lyons with the Garden City Police Department says since the law went into effect, his department has only written four citations for texting and driving.
"You can't just pull someone over because they have their phone in their hand. There's got to be something beyond that that indicates the driver was actually texting. In our cases, the officer was able to look over into other vehicle the driver was actually using their thumbs on the keys. Otherwise we wouldn't waste our time on the case," said Chief Lyons.
If you are caught in Georgia texting and driving you can get a fine of up to $150. A teen who is caught twice while texting and driving could face even more penalities.
A driver is 23 times more likely to get into a car accident while texting and driving. When a driver texts, their reaction time is decreased by 35 percent. The most surprising number is when texting and driving, steering capability goes down 91 percent.