Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DA Leone helps to provide cell phone cases to Burlington High student

Kendall Carr explaining the Safe-T Kase
Press Release From District Attorney Gerry Leone's Office

BURLINGTON – Following an inspiring and compelling presentation where students at Burlington High School were addressed and shown a video of tragedies caused by texting and distracted driving and students pledged not to text and drive, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone is helping to provide students with a new resource to keep their hands and eyes off of their phones while they are driving a vehicle.  Last month, DA Leone spoke to more than 500 Burlington High students about the dangers of texting and driving as part of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office It Can Wait Program.

Ms. Deacon addressing the crowd 
To take the effort one step further, DA Leone and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. have donated funds to provide Safe-T-Kases to students at the high school. Students will be asked to keep their phones in these cases anytime they are driving. Safe-T-Kases were created by Kendall Carr, the niece of Burlington High School Associate Principal Deb Deacon.

“Distracted driving is extremely dangerous to anyone, especially youths who are inexperienced drivers to begin with,” DA Leone said. “I am happy to support this initiative that encourages teens to never text and drive, and to think twice if they even consider doing so. With every student having one of these cases in their vehicles, it is another tool to end distracted driving and will constantly reinforce how dangerous texting and driving can be.”

The fabric cases will hold any sized cell phone. Its purpose is to encourage teens to put their phone in the case while they are behind the wheel, so they are not distracted by the audio or visual cues of a handheld device with a new text message, email or phone call. Each case comes with a written pledge that students are asked to sign, where they commit to put the phone inside the case and not use the phone anytime while they are driving.

Thanks to the donation from DA Leone, students at Burlington High School will receive a case that is designed in the school’s colors and includes the BHS logo. Deacon hopes to provide cases for other local high schools as well.

DA Leone has brought the It Can Wait program to high schools across Middlesex County. The program, which is sponsored by the MDAO and its non-profit partner, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., in collaboration with AT&T, is an anti-texting educational presentation which includes a powerful documentary, produced by AT&T, that features stories from individuals whose lives have been forever altered by texting while driving.  AT&T has been partnering with community leaders across the country to educate drivers, especially teens, on the danger of texting and driving.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has a proud tradition of protecting and serving the people of Middlesex County through tough, fair prosecutions and proactive, progressive prevention and intervention efforts. The mission of the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney is to protect and serve the public, fight for victims, and speak for those who otherwise would have no voice.

Middlesex County is the largest county in Massachusetts and one of the largest counties in the country with 54 towns and cities and 20 colleges in urban, suburban, and rural areas, comprising over one quarter of the population of Massachusetts. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has offices throughout the county, including communities such as Ayer, Cambridge, Concord, Framingham, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Newton, Somerville, Waltham and Woburn.

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