Ninth graders see the consequences of texting and driving - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Ninth graders see the consequences of texting and driving

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -

Raquel Charpentier hasn't gotten behind the wheel yet, but she can text. She wants others to know how distracting it can be.

"I hope that they know that texting while driving is dangerous and I hope that they're aware that you can hurt people and it not only hurts yourself, but it hurts others," said Charpentier.

Charpentier is a ninth grader at East Junior High School in Wisconsin Rapids, where educators are trying to reach students before they get their license.

"When you see it in Drivers Ed. you're just kind of like, OK this can happen, but when you see all your peers around you and you realize that you want all of these people to be with you, it becomes a bit more of a thing that you really need to think about," said Charpentier.

More than 400 East Junior High freshmen heard horror stories of teens involved in crashes and saw just how tough it is to text and drive, through a simulation.

Older students said this could make a huge impact.

"I hope that once they learn how to drive, they understand to not text to just pay attention to the road and be safe drivers," said Junior, Kelsey Kronholm.

Officials hope the presentations will make these soon-to-be drivers think twice as they hit the roads.

"We want to get them started on the right road, and we're hoping that continues to carry through, throughout all of their high school experience and as they continue on into adulthood," said Wisconsin State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable.

Leaders hope to make the most of this chance to stop these future drivers from making a deadly mistake.

Students were also able to sign a pledge to never text and drive at the presentation.

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