Don’t text and drive — you’ll save a life, get a patch

Get out your cellphone, and look at the last text message you received.

Read it aloud. Then consider whether that text message is so important that you’d risk getting into a car accident to read it.

Would you put your life on the line to tap out a response?

Surely not. But still, countless Americans—teens and adults—text and drive, and the consequences can be tragic. In fact, you’re 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you text and drive, according to a 2009 Virginia Tech study.

That’s why the Boy Scouts of America and AT&T, the BSA’s Exclusive Communications Services Sponsor, have started a campaign to end this distracting, often-fatal practice.

Here’s how to get involved yourself:

  • Take the “Txtng & Drivng … It Can Wait” pledge. Click here to visit the BSA’s Facebook page and promise not to text and drive.
  • Share the pledge page with your Scouts, fellow Scouters, and friends. Encourage them to join you by taking the pledge.
  • Any Scout or Scouter who takes the pledge and shares it with at least 10 friends will receive a limited-edition patch (while supplies last — so hurry!). A mock-up of the patch is seen at right.
Here’s how to talk to your Scouts:
  • With Cub Scouts 
      • You won’t want to get into graphic consequences of texting and driving, but introduce them to the concept. And tell Cub Scouts to call out their parents if they seem them texting while driving.
      • Visit this toolkit for downloadable resources.
  • With Boy Scouts and Venturers 
      • Start by having Scouts take the “It Can Wait” pledge.
      • Make this subject your next Scoutmaster’s Minute.
      • Play a “texting while driving” game to show Scouts just how distracting the practice can be. There are full-fledged (read: expensive) distracted driving simulators out there, but this free game on the New York Times site does the trick.
      • Visit this toolkit for downloadable resources.
      • Show AT&T’s harrowing 10-minute documentary, “The Last Text,” at your next meeting. It’s a must-watch for teenagers, especially those at or nearing driving age. Click here for the YouTube page, or watch it below.
      • NOTE: The content is not overly graphic, but this video’s not for Cub Scouts. Watch it yourself before showing it to your troop or crew.

14 thoughts on “Don’t text and drive — you’ll save a life, get a patch

  1. In my five and a half year term as a Scoutmaster, I have had the honor and privilege to award 11 Eagle Scouts their Eagle Scout Badges. Within the last 26 months, I have had to bury 2 of them. The one most recently took his life. The previous one was because of a car accident. He was gone before we got there. I was on scene as a Firefighter and helped to get him out of the car. I am not sure exactly of what happened at that accident, but please express the importance of this to your Scouts. Texting and driving just don’t mix. My Troop has paid it’s dues and has grown tighter because of both events. I just don’t want to see another Troop go through what mine has.

  2. Middle Tennessee Council Venturing Officer’s Association sponsored an event last spring that promoted the campaign “TXTNG & DRIVING-IT CAN WAIT”. We conducted a texting obstacle course in which participants navigated a golf cart while texting the Scout Law. The Tennessee Highway Patrol also assisted with a presentation. Over 150 youth and adults signed a pledge to not text and drive.

  3. Pingback: Texting and Driving: It Can Wait | Scout Wire

  4. Pingback: Handheld cell phone use in West Virginia will cost you « Bryan on Scouting

  5. Pingback: ATT/BSA Anti-texting while driving campaign « Algonquin District

  6. I am a high school teacher and an asst cubmaster for a CSpack. Is there any way to get a download of this video so I can put it on DVD for our school to see. Trying to show videos off the net at an assembly are unreliable in our school’s network. any help would be great. I would be sharing this message with 2000+kids each year!

  7. I took the pledge, shared it as necessary, got the email approval, etc. The website said that it would be shipped to my address, and I double checked that it was correct. It’s been weeks, and I have not received it. Any help?

  8. Thank you for sharing this with other scouters. Our family knows first hand how dangerous texting and driving can be. My father was the cyclist hit and killed by the young man on this at&t documentary. I am glad the BSA is encouraging scouts to get this patch and more importantly to take the pledge to not text and drive. I do not want others to go through the grief and pain my family has due to something that could have been prevented!

  9. What if you don’t trust or believe in the security of Facebook but would like to do the pledge and get the patch

  10. I also do not like Facebook, but this is a great pledge- ATT and BSA- please open it up to NON- Facebook users! Thank you!

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