Be honest - when you drove around today, did you check your cell phone for text messages or, even worse, did you text back?
Some Hanover teens were shown the dangers of texting and driving in an unusual way Wednesday. It's an out of classroom lesson in real-life.
16-year-old AJ Hart is ready to take the test. He has his learner's permit and soon he'll be driving on his own. He joined his Patrick Henry High classmates in a virtual reality simulator demonstrating the dangers of distracted driving.
"Driving on the interstate with a lot of people crossing and stop lights, then they asked me to text a certain message… And I did it," he said.
That's when things get shaky.
"It was pretty hard to stay in the lane, because I started swerving out of the way," Hart explained.
Many of his classmates crashed!
"There are four crashes in Virginia every minute," said Sen. Walter Stosch.
He tried the simulator for himself.
"As a grandparent of children their age, I know how easily distracted they are," he said.
Right now, a bill is on Governor McDonnell's desk, allowing an officer to pull you over if you're texting. The proposed consequence would come with tougher fines.
"I did support that…I haven't spoken to [the Governor] about it. He feels similarly to what we do. We'd rather not impose the state's will on anyone, but in this case, the safety of these young people is paramount," Stosch added.
He's referring to young people like Hart, who are preparing to drive on their own.
"It was hard enough to do it on that than to do in real life…People probably would've gotten hurt," the 16-year-old said.
The simulator already went to Fairfax and heads to Roanoke next - all to reach more teens.
The Governor's office said McDonnell is still reviewing the bill.
After completing the exercise, representatives from AT&T and Drive Smart asked students to sign a pledge agreeing not to text and drive. So far, more than a million people have logged on to www.itcanwait.com and social media to support the pledge.
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