Hillsborough school raises awareness about text ban - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough school raises awareness about text ban

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Worth Teston (left) and Brandon Santo (right) Worth Teston (left) and Brandon Santo (right)
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Some students in Hillsborough County schools are sporting neon shirts this week, reminding their fellow classmates to put the phone down. As of Oct. 1, texting and driving is illegal in the state of Florida. The Sheriff's Office passed out shirts to local high schools, in hopes teens will get the message.

Gaither High School student Shawn Torres says he never texts and drives, unless he's at a red light, which is still legal. A lot of his friends, though, aren't as careful.

"If I'm in the car with someone and they're a good texter and driver then I'm like whatever," Torres said. "But if the person is swerving I'll offer to text for them."

The Deputy Sheriff at Gaither, TJ Henderson, spoke to all the Drivers Ed classes to get the word out about the news legislation.

"All the students know about it but they have questions," Henderson said. "They want to know how they're going to enforce it when they're still allowed to play music and use the GPS on their phones."

The students insist though it's not really them law enforcement has to worry about.

"It makes me uncomfortable because my dad texts and drives all the time," Pamela Gutierrez said. "I yell at him but he does it anyway."

Similar story for Brandon Santo.

"My parents sometimes do but they're slow texter so I'm like 'I'll just do it for you,'" Santo said.

Kevin Savoi is a sophomore and can't drive yet, but he's happy about the ban.

"The insurance rate is already so high for teenagers and if you get in a crash it goes up," Savoi said. "I'm not going to lie if they didn't make the law I'd probably text and drive."
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