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Teens get a shot at texting and driving

 
Teens get a shot at texting and driving
Posted Friday, April 18th 2014 @ 5pm  by WTVN Newsroom

LONDON, Ohio (WTVN) -- Several teens got a chance to put their texting skills to the test while behind the wheel. It was a closed course at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Tactical Training Center near London.

"I think I'll be able to do it," declared Connor Cooley, a junior at Madison Plains High School.

That was before he took out several cones set up on the course.

"The confidence quickly wears off once they start receiving those texts and have to reply back to them," said Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabine who helped organize the event. "Our primary goal here is to be able to have these students go back to their schools and first-hand give an account what distracted driving did for them."

Cooley admitted to texting while driving "a little bit," but says he's seen the crashes and knows the risks.

Some of the students said just driving the course, which is also used to train Ohio law enforcement officers, was enough of a challenge.

JD Miller's father and grandfather are in law enforcement, so he's heard plenty about the dangers of texting and driving. He thought the course was okay, but that changed when his phone started buzzing.

"When they all start texting you at first it got harder, but then after that it was alright," he said.

Many of the students started ignoring the texts and focused on navigating the course.

Ohio was the 39th state to ban texting and driving. It's a primary offense for anyone under the age of 18, meaning you can be stopped if an officer sees you. For adults, it's a secondary offense.

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