Texting And Driving? It Can Wait

Friday, September 6, 2013

August is a bittersweet month for teens, signaling the end of lazy summers spent by the pool and evenings free of homework. But it also offers a fresh start. In just a matter of days, our children will feel the excitement that comes with beginning a new school year. The back-to-school season brims with opportunity: new friends, clothes and school supplies, as well as many new experiences. One of the most anticipated experiences is driving to school for the first time—which often causes anxiety for parents. Cautioning your teen driver about roadway safety is crucial.

For nearly 20 years, August has been the most deadly month for American drivers, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The roads become more congested as vacationers head back to work and students begin a new school year.

It’s more important than ever that we educate our young students about safe driving.

Teen drivers are at the greatest risk due to inexperience. In fact, young drivers are four times more likely to get in car accidents than adults. Add to this the fact that almost 50 percent of young drivers admit to sending text messages and emails while behind the wheel, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. In 4.6 seconds, the average amount of time it takes to send a text, a car going 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field. 

So start the new school year off right and have your child read and sign the It Can Wait pledge, a national campaign supported by several large wireless carriers asking drivers to abstain from using distracting technology while driving. The most important lesson we need to teach our teens and all drivers about texting and driving is simply that it can wait. Ending the epidemic of distracted driving starts with each one of us.

Kelly Parks
Verizon District Manager

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Silence From Rhonda Thurman

I find it deplorable that Rhonda Thurman is, once again, voicing her opinions so quickly and so vehemently.  She seems to be the one school board member that wants media and/or press coverage every time the opportunity avails itself.  However, when it comes to responding to personal emails sent directly to her…she zips her lips. I, as all of the citizens of Hamilton ... (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Hixson's Courtney Jones Headed To Hiwassee

Courtney Jones is almost finished with one important segment of her life and she's not wasting any time getting on with the next part. Jones is currently a senior at Hixson High School, but she will graduate next week and heading to Madisonville where she will be playing volleyball at the college level for the Hiwassee Lady Tigers. Jones has been an integral part of Hixson's ... (click for more)

Walker Valley, Soddy Daisy Big Mat Winners

The Walker Valley Mustangs recorded pins in the first five matches and never looked back as they beat host Ooltewah in a prep wrestling match Thursday evening by a resounding 61-12 final. The match began at 120 pounds and James Jur put his team ahead with a first-period pin.  Cameron Dwyer, Ethan West, Dillon Clark and Zeth Haynie followed with pins and it never got any ... (click for more)