Petition Urges Students Not to Text and Drive

Matthew Hall, Staff Writer

As of today, Oct. 1, it became illegal to text and drive. The fine for a first offense is $30.But the big question floating around is, will the ban really change people’s behavior? Before the ban on texting and driving even passed, some students were already spreading awareness about the dangerous habit.

Senior Christopher Harrison has one question for students. What’s more important, your life or a text message? Harrison, a volunteer with the City of Tampa Police Department’s Police Explorer program, has been challenging his peers at Robinson High School to put their lives before texting.

“It’s not only teens that do it, adults do it just as much as they do so they have to be aware too,” Harrison said.

According to the Texting and Driving Safety website, the minimal amount of time it takes for you to read and open a text message is five seconds, about the same amount of time it takes for you to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph.  

Part of Harrison’s role with the Police Explorer’s program is to create awareness among his peers about the life threatening risks associated with texting and driving.

A day after the petition was handed to him and with the help of Amanda Bailey, assistant principal of student affairs, Harrison brought his plea students during lunches.  Although he felt some kids took the petition seriously, he felt most took it as a joke.

“I strongly feel the only reason people signed was for the free sticker,” he said. “If it’s getting so bad that we have to get a petition for it, something needs to be done.”