"LOL" and "Where R U" are short text messages, but sending them or reading them while driving can lead to long-term consequences.
Tuesday morning, Washington Park High School seniors were given a unique perspective on the dangers of texting and driving through a short documentary and driving simulator.
The presentations were part of a public awareness campaign brought to students by AT&T, AAA, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Representative Cory Mason and Racine Mayor John Dickert.
Students listened to speakers warning them of the consequences of texting behind the wheel. After the speakers, the group watched "The Last Text," a short documentary produced by AT&T. The film highlighted several tragic cases of texting and driving and in each story, the last text was something as simple as "LOL" or "Where R U."
"You are more important to us than that text," Dickert told the students. "It is that simple."
The Mayor declared Oct. 2 as "Don't Text & Drive Pledge Day" for the City of Racine.
Senior Jessica George said she teared up watching the documentary and listening to the stories.
"I could really relate to the young girl who died. I do not text and drive now, but this really hit home," she said.
She is now even more certain that texting while driving is a dangerous thing to do, George added.
Scott VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin, agreed with Dickert.
"There is no text worth dying for," he said.
After the presentations, several students were able to use AAA's Distracted Driving Simulator, which gave students a true perspective of the mistakes drivers make while texting.
Students, parents and citizens are being urged to visit the site www.ItCanWait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge and share their promise on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.