Russell Wilson, the Seahawks rookie quarterback phenom, is taking time out of the football season’s home stretch to tackle teen texting and driving.
Wilson’s working with Verizon Wireless on a campaign that’s encouraging students at four Seattle high schools to pledge to stop texting while driving. Wilson will visit in January with students at whichever school gets the most pledges through Dec. 19.
Participating schools are Chief Sealth, Franklin, Roosevelt and West Seattle. Students can fill out the pledges online at Verizon’s web site for the “Save it Seattle” campaign or fill out pledge forms at the four schools.
Verizon – which partners with the NFL on mobile apps and promotions – notes that Pew Research found that 40 percent of teens have been in a car when the driver’s cell phone use put people in danger and that distractions were a factor in 11 percent of fatal crashes involving drivers under age 20.
Verizon’s planning a similar program in Phoenix – though the Arizona Cardinals don’t have a celebrated quarterback like Wilson – and may extend the program to other cities next year.
Here’s Wilson’s pitch to teens: