Mustang Leadership B.S.A.

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

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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.

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