Put it Down and Save a Life


Texting while driving is suspected cause of crash (Image courtesy of car accident blog)

Megan Overby, ENN Staff

Getting a driver’s license can be one of the most exciting times in a high school career.  However, with driving comes new responsibilities to protect everyone in the car as well as others on the road. Unfortunately, some people choose to use their phone while driving instead.

Every day, 660,00 drivers attempt to use their phone or another device behind the wheel. Studies show that 1 out of every 4 car accidents is caused by texting and driving.

Due to these statistics, the Lake Ridge administration believes it is important to present the “Put it Down, Save a Life” program to raise awareness for this cause on April 6 – 7.

Lori Cook, LRHS Counselor, explains that the first day of the program is more student involved.

“It is a two day program. One day we have all of the students that signed up to participate in it. Their parents have to write an obituary and we pull the students from class and read the obituary in class and hang it up in the cafeteria. The students have to have gray face paint painted on them and wear a shirt that says “dead” on it. They also have to go throughout the day without speaking to anybody. The silence is to signify that every 15 minutes somebody dies from an alcohol fatality or a texting and driving fatality,” said Cook.

Chase Berry, junior, decided to participate in this event to develop his talents and return the favors his community does for him.

“This program is a great opportunity for me to give back to my community and school and I think it will be a fun learning experience to work with the Mansfield Police Department and MISD. It was also help me become a better actor since I have to act dead and be silent for the whole school day,” Berry said.

The second day, the Mansfield Police Department comes to LRHS and presents the program with a mock crash scene and provides more of an informational experience.

During the assembly, the student body will be watching a video created and produced by LRHS AP Psychology students.

Megan Overby
Ryan Overby on his phone behind the wheel.

“The AP Psychology students put together a video that involves two people driving to go meet their friends while messing with the radio and they have a wreck and one of the passengers dies. So, it’s two of your classmates who are going to be in that. It’s to show that this is something that teenagers are doing because everybody’s driving and it’s easy to pick up your phone and check your Snapchat, or your phone dings, or you’re messing with the music and distractions like that,” said Cook.

Lake Ridge High School, as well as the rest of the Mansfield Independent School District, presents this program the same time each year to help students become more aware of their surroundings. The end of the school year is very exciting and tempting situations occur in the late months of the school year.

“It’s always done right before graduation and prom because students can go and drink, and also because of texting and driving being so prevalent around those times,” said Cook.

 T.J. Planas, Assistant Principal, hopes to increase the students concern for this issue and influence their habits in good ways.

“Each year across the nation, thousands of people die because of distracted driving and we want to do everything we can to prevent that from happening in our community,” Planas said.

The Put it Down and Save a Life campaign has been presented throughout the district for 12 years.

“I’ve been lucky to work with this program each year that I’ve been at Lake Ridge and I hope that our students take it as seriously as I do,” said Planas.