Archived Story

No truer words texted

Published 9:20pm Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Since the creation of the wheel then the axle, the cart then the internal combustion engine, ultimately leading to motor vehicles, humankind has indulged in a deadly game: distracted driving. Its forms have been many: changing out 8-track cassettes, struggling to chomp on a slippery Big Mac behind the wheel, late to a meeting, slapping on lipstick in the rearview mirror, dialing a phone. The results? Innumerable, avoidable accidents.
Sure, some are no more than fender-benders in which an exchange of insurance information is the worst of it. Others, however, are far more tragic.
Such was the case with Sarah Edwards, the Southside High School senior who was killed early last year in an accident traced to distracted driving. Edwards was texting when she ran into a logging truck.
Texting while driving is more than careless. It’s so dangerous it’s spurred new laws that make it a ticketable offense, numerous “Don’t Text and Drive” campaigns by state highway patrols nationwide, as well as drives in schools asking students to pledge not to do it. Here at home, Edwards’ mother, Tracy O’Carroll, started “For the Love of Sarah,” an organization that raises money and awareness for the issue. On a consumer level, it’s led to the creation of cell phone applications that allow you to put your phone in car mode so you won’t be tempted to look at, or try to return, a text, while sending out a reply message that you’re driving.
But the most powerful, succinct message yet about texting and driving came from the unlikely source of Stonebridge Church of God in Ozark, Ala. Right above Sunday school and worship times, the church’s marquee sign sent this message to passing drivers: “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him.”

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