4-H, BCISD host distracted driving program

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

In an effort to spread awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, the Burnet County 4-H Program and Burnet CISD have collaborated with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to bring the community a “Talk/Text Crash” presentation Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Burnet CISD Board room.

During the program, guests will have the opportunity to view a program by the Passenger Safety Project, who will use Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's Distracted Driving Simulator, to give individuals a firsthand experience of the dangers of texting and driving.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in 2018, one in five crashes were caused by distracted driving, and distraction was a major factor in 59% of crashes involving teenagers. 398 people were killed in distracted driving accidents last year, and approximately 3,000 were seriously injured.

“We feel distracted driving is such an important topic,” said Burnet County Extension Agent Kelly Tarla. “With one out of five crashes being caused by distracted driving, we want to bring awareness to this topic.”

Distracted driving is a growing issue in today's youth thanks to the advancement of technology and individuals' busy lives and dependency on their cell phones, and the three organizations are hoping to reduce the numbers among the area's young drivers.

“Teens are on the road so much between after school activities, work, and other responsibilities, and we feel very strongly about educating them of the dangers of distracted driving,” Tarla said. “We are very fortunate to have the texting and driving simulator available for our use here in Burnet County and hope many people, youth and adults, take full advantage of it.”

Individuals interested in attending the program and learning more about distracted driving are invited to contact the Burnet County AgriLife Extension Office at 512-756-5463, or email Kelly Tarla at kelly.tarla@ag.tamu.edu; agent London Jones at london.jones@ag.tamu.edu; or secretary Stacy Barnett at stacy.barnett@ag.tamu.edu.

The program will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Burnet CISD Board Room, 208 East Brier, Burnet.

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