AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin Youth Council , the representative voice for Austin area high school students, wants young drivers to keep their hands off their phones and on the wheel.
The council is partnering with AT&T as well as 17 area high schools for a new event called "It Can Wait, Austin." The event aims to educate students about the dangers of texting while driving.
A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16 years or older text or email while driving.
According to the website textinganddrivingsafety.com , cell phone distraction was the cause of 1.3 million auto wrecks in the U.S. in 2011. The website also says that drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than non-texters.
Forty-one states have bans on texting and driving, but Texas only bans the practice in school zones, for drivers under 18 and for bus drivers who transport children.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell along with representatives from the Austin Youth Council, AT&T and the Austin Fire Department are set to speak at the event. Other features of the event include live music from local musicians and concessions from area food vendors.
It Can Wait, Austin will be held June 15 at the Zach Theatre in the Nowlin Rehearsal Hall.
The Austin Youth Council will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall to announce all the activities they have planned for the "It Can Wait, Austin." event. The public is welcome to attend.
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