VT Attorney General William Sorrell.

VT Attorney General Sorrell, AT&T Raise ‘Turn Off Texting’ Awareness at Hartford High School

The dangers of texting while driving are immense and real, but many drivers are unaware of the potential consequences of texting at the wheel. The Youth Safety Council of Vermont joined with AT&T and The Vermont Attorney General’s Office to help high school students in White River Junction better understand how critical their choices while driving can be.

On Wednesday, May 14, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell spoke to an assembly of about 250 Hartford High School students. They gathered to raise awareness of the potential outcomes of texting while driving: The harm or death of drivers, passengers and bystanders, as well as the legal consequences of breaking Vermont’s texting while driving law. The office of the Attorney General is dedicated to the protection of the health and safety of all Vermonters. Vermont State Police Trooper Richard Slusser and Owen Smith, AT&T Regional Vice President, External Affairs, each spoke as well, and news teams from Fox 44 and WPTZ stopped in to interview the speakers and students, too.

AT&T invites young drivers to pledge to not text and drive as part of their collaborative ‘It Can Wait’ campaign (www.ItCanWait.com). AT&T started the It Can Wait movement in 2010 with the goal of creating a social stigma around the dangerous habit of texting while driving. This successful effort to engage youth in a critical safety issue is now championed by all the major wireless providers. Drivers of all ages can also sign up at ItCanWait.com and access resources that will help them share their commitment on social media, and personalize the movement on the streets of their communities.

Students also viewed the documentary short film, ‘The Last Text,’ http://youtu.be/dht-Vy25jPs

[youtube http://youtu.be/dht-Vy25jPs]

For more about Attorney General William Sorrell, see http://www.atg.state.vt.us/office-organization-information/about-the-attorney-general/attorney-general-william-h.-sorrell.php

(Members of the press and public are welcome to re-publish these photographs courtesy YSCVT)

Bill Merrylees

Bill Merrylees Joins YSCVT Staff

The Youth Safety Council of Vermont welcomes Bill Merrylees of East Montpelier to its staff. Bill will be presenting the Turn Off Texting demonstration to high schools and driver education programs across Vermont.

The Turn Off Texting demonstration raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving by putting students behind the wheel of a golf cart to navigate a course of cones while texting. It’s a unique, memorable and effective experience for participants, funded by a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and support from generous sponsors including AT&T and 802Cars.com.

Bill’s experience with directing substance prevention and health campaigns for youth, coordinating afterschool programs, and bicycle tour-leading and advocacy makes the Youth Safety Council especially glad to welcome him to our staff as a presenter and safety educator.

glee Distracted Driving Message

Honda’s New Texting Ad

[youtube http://youtu.be/_WJThbomts0]
TOT demo at Williamstown High School.

First TOT Demo of the Season: Williamstown High School!

Our first Turn Off Texting demonstration of the spring season was held today at Williamstown High School with the students of Driver Education instructor Lisa Page. Deputy Sheriff Dan Bohnyak rode along and TOT presenter Johnny Esau introduced everyone to our newest YSCVT Turn Off Texting presenter, Bill Merrylees. Special thanks to the Northfield News for coming by to take photos! It was a great day to kick off our National Distracted Driving Month activities.

The ‘Manifesto” Video.

[youtube http://youtu.be/S_-6EoNhitg]

Just drive.


AT&T’s ‘The Last Text’ Documentary

[youtube http://youtu.be/dht-Vy25jPs]

Faces of Distracted Driving: Alex Brown, 17

[youtube http://youtu.be/VDKOiMSkLxY]

VT Health Department Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Texting While Driving is New Public Health Crisis

Listen to Tracy Dolan, Vermont’s Deputy Health Commissioner, discussing the threat of texting while driving that has been measured in Vermont’s latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey. It’s described as a ‘new public health crisis’ in this Vermont Public Radio interview, and the statistic is jaw-dropping: http://digital.vpr.net/post/texting-while-driving-now-public-health-threat