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Senior Airman using social media to discourage texting + driving

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's a hashtag you'll want to tweet to your friends -- but don't do it while you're behind the wheel! #TextFreeIn2014 is a pledge being shared in an unlikely place with the hopes it will spread throughout Milwaukee.

Senior Airman Megan Smith with the 128th Air Refueling Wing has had enough!

"At least once a day I see someone on their phone, using it in a dangerous behavior and causing a distraction to everyone around them. I almost rear-ended someone when I was 16 years old.  He made me pull over. It was pretty scary," Smith said.

Older and wiser, Smith has created a program to help fight the issue of texting while driving on base and beyond.

"The punishment is relatively serious.  They lose their driving privileges here on the base," Chief of Safety Jason Park said.

Smith's approach is pretty simple -- talk to your friends, your children -- anyone who will listen.

"The minute you stop talking about it is the minute they forget thinking about it," Smith said.

Smith encourages drivers to put the phone away -- saying drivers shouldn't even have a phone near them when they're behind the wheel.

Senior Airman Chris Petty sees it happening far too often among some of the younger recruits.

"Someone has to take a stand. I believe that the younger generation will wake up and get it," Petty said.

Smith has created stickers that read: "You can't LOL in a prison cell."

"It's on here to help sink in the message and how serious it is," Smith said.

Folks are encouraged to tweet a selfie with the hashtag #TextFreeIn2014. Smith hopes that once this starts trending, she hopes it will erase another trend -- one that could be deadly.

"I kind of just want to make the world a better place - and this is a great way to start," Smith said.

Smith is hoping to expand her program by bringing it in to local schools.

1 Comment

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