Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police “Anti-Texting Week” at Bedford High Shows Dangers of Distracted Driving
Partnerships with Bedford Public Schools, Liberty Mutual and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan Raise Awareness
Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno is pleased to announce that the Bedford Police Department is engaged in week-long program at Bedford High School designed to raise awareness about distracted driving.
“Texting while driving is now the number one cause of death for teen drivers, and it is completely preventable,” Chief Bongiorno said. “I hope our students can take away some valuable lessons. Your life is more important than a text message.”
The week’s events began on Monday, April 7, with a Crashed Car Demo at the playground across the street from the Bedford Police Station, provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. This car, which will be on display all week, was actually involved in an accident and shows realistically what can happen when drivers become distracted.
“Teen drivers in our community have the potential to set a meaningful example for their peers during prom season,” said Helen Hellstrom, Sales Representative for Liberty Mutual’s Lexington office. “Through activities such as our crashed car demonstration, we can encourage positive decision-making among teens.”
On Monday, Bedford Police also placed banners around the school discouraging texting while driving with the following messages:
- Your life is more important than your text.
- Don’t drive inTEXTicated.
- Texting and Driving: A Grave Mistake.
- Arrive alive, don’t text and drive.
Students are also making announcements every morning this week over the intercom, reminding students not to text and drive.
On Tuesday, April 8, police brought a whole new level of realism to video games with a Texting Simulator from Peer Awareness. The simulation shows the level of distraction that drivers face when they take their eyes off the road to read or send a text message.
“Above all, we want students to understand that this is not about getting tickets or getting in trouble. Distracted driving kills young drivers,” said Officer Marc Saucier, Bedford’s Traffic Enforcement Officer, who is taking part in this week’s events. “We hope that this week helps keep our young drivers safe on the roads.”
Finally, on Friday, April 11, there will be an assembly for Juniors and Seniors, where they will watch a video produced by AT&T that highlights real stories from young people affected by texting while driving. The assembly will conclude with a presentation by Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, who has always highlighted the dangers of distracted driving throughout her career.
A 2013 study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. showed that more than 3,000 teens are killed each year in motor vehicle accidents caused by texting while driving, which surpasses the estimated 2,700 teens kills each year due to drunk driving.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month