SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) - Distracted driving kills more than 5,000 people every year here in the U.S., and has taken lives right here in Western Massachusetts.
Some South Hadley residents are trying to put a stop to drivers texting behind the wheel.
"It's really dangerous and it bothers me when I see any of my friends doing it so, I wouldn't want to set that example," said Meghan Kennedy who is a senior at South Hadley High School.
Texting while driving is one of the biggest problems on our roads today and on Saturday, the community got yet another reality-check on the dangers.
The South Hadley Police Department setup a computer game at the town's Winter Carnival which simulates the experience of texting behind the wheel.
Participants would receive text messages on their own personal phones, while driving in the game. And each person who tried it found out, it's a game you will never win.
After the students and adults have completed playing the simulation game, they come out into the hallway, sign this pledge, and also receive a 22News XtheTXT thumb band .
"I get distracted very easily so signing the pledge for me was a big deal. Now I have to know to put my phone away," said Sabree Thomas who is a senior at South Hadley High School.
There are penalties in place for junior operators in the state of Massachusetts.
"The first 6 months of their license they cannot text, nor can they talk on the phone; that is a $100 fine, and they can lose their license up to 60 days," said South Hadley Police Officer Steven Fleming.
"I don't need to get in an accident because of someone's negligence of texting," said Anne Belanger of South Hadley.
Adults also face a $100 fine for texting while driving.
"It can all wait. It can wait and x-the-text is the program that will hopefully deliver that message," said Winter Carnival Coordinator Karen Geraghty-Jesionowski.
If you'd like to join the people of South Hadley in taking the pledge not to text while driving, you can XtheTXT .