SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - W8 2 TXT, it's a message the Georgia Highway Patrol is sending to students as part of a new program led by Subway.
"With young people learning to be drivers, they are very inexperienced," said Georgia Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Andy Sinquefield. "We want them to gain experience behind the wheel before we get them a lot of distractions thrown on them, including text messaging."
Nearly 200 students packed the Bible Baptist auditorium to hear why texting behind the wheel is so dangerous. For Austin Lipski, the message has already been received, he lost a close friend to an accident caused by a distracted driver.
"After that, you look at life differently," said Lipski. "You start to value other peoples lives as well as your own. So you try to be good so you can help everyone else out."
According to the highway patrol, car accidents continue to be the leading killer of young people. Texting while driving is one of the biggest distractions and biggest problems among teen drivers.
"I try to wait for red lights, but I do text while on the road," said Jacob Brand, Bible Baptist junior.
Ginger Knox also knows all too well how dangerous texting and driving can be.
"I had two children, two separate times, two separate states, that were seriously injured by accidents caused by people texting and driving," said Knox.
The goal of the W8 2 TXT campaign is to get students to take the pledge to never text while driving, so innocent lives aren't affected.
"Don't text and drive because the deliberate action you are taking right now, that you think is so important, can have a lasting affect on other people's lives," said Knox.
Instead, troopers recommend pulling over some where safe before taking out your phone to text.