Santa Barbara Students Conducting Traffic Safety Campaign

“X The TEXT”: A Project of Allstate Corporation

Santa Barbara County Friday Night Live, a program of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) has received funding from the Allstate Corporation and the California Friday Night Live Partnership.

Friday Night Live student participants from Santa Barbara County high schools are designing traffic safety campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving and related traffic safety issues. An “X the TXT” Pledge Event will be held for Santa Barbara and Goleta residents on March 5, 2011. Families will be challenged to take the pledge not to text and drive and will have the opportunity to pledge on State St. or in the Camino Real Marketplace.

“Car accidents are the leading cause of death among our youth. Texting while driving has only recently become a significant contributing factor so it is important to address the issue now. Our hope is to raise awareness among not only the teens running the campaign, but also among their peers and families.” states Santa Barbara County Friday Night Live Coordinator, Melissa Wilkins.

Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing drivers today, particularly among teens. According to a recent Allstate Foundation study, 49 percent of driving teens admit to being extremely distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports driver distraction contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.

“People think that looking away from the road for one second is no big deal. But no text is more important than your life,” says Friday Night Live Leadership participant, Negin Namavari.

Friday Night Live participants from Carpinteria, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, and Dos Pueblos high schools will invite Santa Barbara County teens and their families to join more that 125,000 Americans who have pledged not to text and drive through Allstate’s “X the TXT” campaign. Youth-led campaigns and activities will raise awareness regarding the dangers associated with distracted driving.

For additional information contact Melissa Wilkins at 805-963-1433 X136 or email

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