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Teens unite in DC for Distracted Driving Summit

6:51 AM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A big group of kids from all over the country are gathering in the D.C. Wednesday. They're on a mission to make some noise about texting and driving.

Wednesday morning, we spoke to Yvette Pugh from AT&T joins us about Drive 4 Pledges Day and the 4th annual National Teen Distracted Driving Summit in DC.

About Drive 4 Pledges Day, Pugh told us, "As you may know, texting while driving is involved in more than a hundred thousand vehicle crashes each year. So we are looking to change behaviors around this type of behavior, change behavior and also to increase awareness to the issue of texting while driving and the critical nature of that."

Pugh also said there are steps we all can take to stop texting and driving. "One, awareness. AT&T, as you indicated, launched a campaign in 2009 for increased awareness around the dangers of texting while driving. And so our objective is to increase awareness...through a number of activities tomorrow, including the noise activity on Capitol Hill."

Pugh said that's where the pledge comes in, making a commitment to stop texting and driving. "Then, the third is continuing to make a commitment as well as increasing awareness. And so we will continue to drive that message."

New Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said this problem claims too many lives and it's completely preventible.  "Exactly. We know that by changing behaviors and increasing awareness, that as people become more aware of the dangers and the risks that they will hopefully change their behaviors. We know that we have a long way to go but in the activities such as Drive 4 Pledges Day and all the attention being brought to it, that we hope people will take heed and change their behaviors and see texting while driving is socially unacceptable as drinks and driving," shared Pugh.

Children are coming from all over the country for the summit. Pugh told us, "The summit will start today with a number of activities for youth. We have about 75 to a hundred youth coming in from across the country, and it will continue tomorrow with the Drive 4 Pledges rally on Upper Senate Park."

Local kids can participate by registering at noys.org (http://noys.org/). NOYS is hosting the event tomorrow.

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