Forks Has Eyes Forward

By Haley Burton

May 30, 2012 Updated May 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM EST

Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Have you signed the pledge?

Chenango Forks students vow to not text while driving.

Nearly 500 students at Chenango Forks received a green bracelet on Wednesday. It was all for signing an important pledge.

"Students are pledging to not text while they are driving. They're also pledging to not ride with somebody who is texting while driving," said Ken Starr, Junior at Chenango Forks.

At all lunch periods, CF students lined up to sign on the dotted line, vowing keep their eyes forward.

Starr helped organize the campaign at the school. It may be a small bracelet but it holds a strong message. One that many at Chenango Forks will now wear close to their hearts.

"It makes me proud of our students to see so many taking the pledge to not text," he said, "I hope we can set an example for other students in other schools."

By signing the pledge, students are simply saying that driving while texting is not okay. With the pledge, they're also telling their friends to stop and asking friends and family to pull over if they need to text.

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving makes someone 23 times more likely to crash.

School leaders say with graduation and summer break approaching, it's the perfect time to educate young drivers.

"As you're driving, it's just one more reminder as you turn the wheel, there it is on your mind. It's a constant memory type of thing," said Kathleen Quaranta, Chenango Forks HS.

The school district had so many students and faculty sign the "Eyes Forward" pledge, they asked for more to be delivered to the school.

"Hopefully our school and other school will start to notice it through Facebook, texting (not during driving) and emailing, instant messaging and tweeting to their friends that they signed the pledge and get them to sign it as well," said Quaranta.

EYES Forward is a partnership between WBNG and Columbian Financial Group. Supporting sponsors include Lourdes Hospital and Raymond Corporation.