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Kearney High School educating students on the dangers of texting and driving

Kearney High School educating students on the dangers of texting and driving

One local high school is trying to keep students safe by educating them on the dangers of texting and driving.

Kearney High School teamed up with local police Friday afternoon to show kids firsthand the consequences it can cause.

"It doesn't matter if you're talking on your cell phone, texting, snap-chatting, whatever takes your attention away from the road. It may not always be illegal, but it's not safe,” Officer Pat McLaughlin said.

According to the Department of Transportation, over half a million people use their phones while driving. However, the combination of the two can be deadly.

Students drove around a bunch of orange cones with a phone in hand. Their peers kicked balls and threw objects to represent a person or animal suddenly getting in their way.

"You're texting and driving. You drive by a park and hit a kid, you're whole life would be over before it even began over one stupid text message or one bad moment where you made the wrong choice," said Officer McLaughlin.

One local student admits being in a car with distracted friends.

"I've been in car with friends and they've been snap chatting and driving," Mia Kegley, a junior at Kearney High School said.

Teachers and staff want to emphasize to students this is something to take seriously.

"As we move into summer and graduation season. There's a lot of celebrations to be had. We want them to make maybe a second thought about their behavior. Maybe that's involved in drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel," said Club Adviser Kristin Vest.

Police say they a have zero tolerance policy for those getting behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. However, if caught, you can face criminal charges.

"Here as a juvenile, it only takes point zero two for a juvenile under the age of 21 to get a minor DUI and point 0.8 for a minor DUI," said Officer McLaughlin.

Police also want to remind people these charges will follow you for the rest of your lives.

"You're talking about having that on your driver's history forever," said Officer McLaughlin.

Students also got the chance to wear drunk goggles to see what it is like to be impaired.

"I didn't like it. It made me feel very irritated that I couldn't walk in a straight line, I couldn't walk around the obstacle course,” said Kegley.

And in real life, it won't just be cones you knock over if you're not paying attention.

"Your life could be over before you know it," said Officer McLaughlin.

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