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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A New York Medical Center study found that texting while driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death for teen drivers, killing over 3,000 teens a year.
That fact hit Springfield photographer Bruce Berg like a ton of bricks, and he decided to do something about it.
”Last year it overtook drunk driving, so i just thought that was a really important message that the teens need to hear,” said Berg.
So with help from Uplink-Spyder Web Design and 3 businesses, Berg put the message on billboards across the local area.
They say, "11 teens die/week texting plus driving."
Deanna Rivera of Uplink Spyder said that the students featured on the billboard are all local. “They were all photographed by Bruce Berg and they were all supportive of this message, and so its been a great collaborative effort,” said Rivera.
With more than four out of ten teens nationwide admitting to texting while driving, the group hopes their billboard will get the message across to younger drivers.
Trenton Jones, a Thurston High student featured on the billboard thinks the signs can be effective.
”I hope that the billboard can send out a message to my peers saying, ‘hey, you can be one of the 11 kids that die texting and tweeting’, like, it's not really worth the risk,” Jones said.
Berg believes the 11 kids on the boards can be role models to their peers, without saying a word.