Poems illustrate dangers of texting while driving

<em>The following is a letter CacheValleyDaily received regarding the dangers of texting while driving and the powerful effect Reggie Shaw’s story has had on people around the country.</em>

After hearing so much about the dangers of texting while driving, I wanted to do something to help in this cause. I wrote two poems about the dangers of texting while driving, but don’t really know what to do with them. What a shame to write and then stick them in a drawer to just fade away. I want to do something good with the poems that I write and am looking for an avenue to use them in. Again, this is the poem that I wrote after seeing a segment on FOX 23 News out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It made me think about how I could help in this quest to make people more aware of the dangers of texting while driving. I want to go to my local high schools, here in Kansas and talk to the students about this danger. I want to use Reggie Shaw’s video to bring the message home to them and then hand out my poems that students, will hopefully, pass on to others or hang on their bedroom wall. Many will probably end up in the trash, but if I can help save just one life, it will be worth my effort. This is not just a passing phase and does not only affect our youth. Our adult drivers are doing the same with their busy schedules, with places to go and people to see. So this is also for them.

<strong>The first poem</strong>

You think it’s not a big deal You’ve been driving several years But have you really thought about The cause of many tears What if…….for just an instance Your eyes have left the road Your hands were busy TEXTING And your mind was in THAT mode It only takes a second To make a fatal mistake And once that it has happened The consequences are hard to take You say that it won’t happen to me I’m ALWAYS in control But what about the time it did Was it worth the life you stole? So keep your phone out of arms reach Until you’ve reached your destination YOU are responsible for your actions Driving deserves your concentration Must it always take disaster? To open up our eyes Please teach by your example Before more of America dies…. This is such a serious problem and I want to help it “STOP”!!! I feel responsible, as should everyone else, to try and do something to stop the killing. When you talk on your cell phone or text, it is probably not a life or death situation. If it is, pull over and concentrate on your call at that time. Inattentive driving IS now and always has been against the law. What if it was a member of your family, coming home from school or work, or your Mother coming home from the store, and by your distraction, was the ones you hurt or killed. I have seen people holding on to their phones, whether talking or texting – Doesn’t matter, the end result could be the same. Not only could it affect the ones you connect with, but your life as well. What is now a happy life could quickly turn into a life of pain for all involved. My brother in law showed me a video on Youtube the other night and it helped me to come up with another poem that I feel would be useful to anyone who drives. It was about a young man, Reggie Shaw, sitting in jail and talking about the accident that he had caused by texting and driving. He was saying he didn’t mean for it to happen and he wished he could change it now. He was texting and went just barely across the center lane on the highway and hit a blue car with two men in it, just minding their own business. The car they were driving, turned into the oncoming lane and a truck pulling a horse trailer, hit them broadside and took the car to the ditch. The truck went broadside, all the way through the vehicle and killed both men on impact. What a terrible image. What a more terrible outcome for the families of these two men and the young man who cared more about texting his friends than paying attention to keeping everyone, including himself, safe on the highway.

<strong>The second poem</strong>

I saw a video today About a young man sitting in jail He was understandably, emotionally sad No one could post his bail He had caused a terrible accident In where two men had died He could not bring them back again No matter how he tried If only I had…….he said out loud If I had only paid more attention Instead of texting on my phone Gave driving more concentration Lack of responsibility Is why I’ll serve my time What a terrible mistake I made In committing this awful crime Without even meaning to I changed so many lives I’ll tell my story to the world And anyone who drives Please pay more attention Don’t make the same mistake Of TEXTING while your driving For fear of a life to take Try talking to the families And explain such a selfish act How you acted so irresponsibly There’s no way to take it back PLEASE help me to spread the word We’ve got to get it said TEXTING while you’re driving Could end up with someone dead. If these poems can be of any help whatsoever, feel free to use them. I would be interested if someone did use them to spread the word. Carolyn Vannoster 3315 CR 2800 Independence, KS 67301 dcck@totelcsi.com

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