Rotary

Columbus Morning Rotary posted signs like this one at Columbus High School reminding motorists to drive safely by not texting while they're behind the wheel.

Julie Blum, The Columbus Telegram

COLUMBUS — Columbus Morning Rotary is taking on a project to promote safe driving.

The group is installing 35 metal signs at local schools that remind students and parents to buckle up and not text while driving.

Rotary member Ken Curry, a former member of the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education, and Rotary President Kim Konz are leading the project.

A survey commissioned by AT&T as part of the “It Can Wait” campaign indicates that while 97 percent of teens know texting while driving is dangerous, 43 percent admit to sending a text while driving and 75 percent say the practice is common among their friends.

“Not texting is an important community message because text messaging makes a car crash 23 times more likely to occur,” Konz said.

The National Safety Council reports that cellphone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur annually from accidents caused by texting while driving.

The sign project is funded partially by funds received when the Columbus Morning and Noon Rotary groups won second place for a video about their signature fundraiser, the annual Loup d' Loup bike ride.

Columbus Morning Rotary meets at 6:50 a.m. Thursdays at Picket Fence Cafe.

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