Gwinnett group wants you to 'W8 2 Text'

Gwinnett group wants you to 'W8 2 Text'

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A group of women is teaming up with the City of Snellville to put an end to distracted driving across Metro Atlanta.

As part of this weekend's Community Health Fair, the Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation are speaking out on some alarming driving statistics. Nine people die each day in a distracted driving related crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bettina Beniot Durant says she's now a safer driver after a police officer handed her a $150 ticket her for distracted driving.  She says she was sitting at a traffic light when she sent a text message. Durant says she had no idea she was breaking the law.

"I really thought it was okay at the light," she said.

But the citation opened her eyes to a new way of driving-– with both hands on the wheel at all times.

"If my light would have turned green and I decided to pull off before disengaging from my texting, I could have killed someone," Durant said.

She's now taking action as part of the Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation, helping to launch the W8 2 Text campaign. The group hopes to warn motorists about the dangers of distracted driving before they get a ticket.

A key strategy, the group says, focuses on educating teen drivers before they get behind the wheel. Alex Ferrell, who turns 16 in a few months, says she knows it's no secret that many teens drive distracted.

"It's not very hard for me," said Ferrell.  "But, for my peers-- they find it very hard."

Ferrell said she has some friends who look at their phone or text while they're driving.

"I say about 50-50 is the amount of teens texting and driving, but even 50 percent is 50 too much,"  she said. 

And that's why foundation members say they're embarking on a life-saving mission to change driving behavior altogether.

The W8 2 Text campaign is set to kick off this Saturday with a ribbon-cutting event at a community health fair in Snellville.

More info:
The Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation, Incorporated ("GPS") will launch "Life Is Beautiful: W8 2 Text!", a community awareness campaign designed to discourage distracted driving on Saturday, June 1, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Upsilon Alpha Omega Chapter Community Health Fair. The event is slated to take place at the Snellville Senior Center located at 2350 Oak Road in Snellville, Georgia.

Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation

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