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      Amarillo citizens sign texting and driving petition

      Many people in Amarillo feel texting and driving bans in school zones are not enough- they want texting and driving banned completely.

      That is why Sunny Hodge-Campbell started a petition asking Amarillo city commissioners to outlaw the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle.

      "When you look at the statistics that nearly 25 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are caused by cell phone use, there's an issue, there's a problem," she said.

      Hodge-Campbell sent the petition to family and friends and posted it to her Facebook page. Word quickly spread and many people in the community jumped on board.

      "I think a cell phone has just become part of everyone's lives," Hodge-Campbell stated. "And, you know, texting is an issue. But also talking on your cell phone, checking your Facebook wile you're driving- this is dangerous."

      According to Texas State Trooper Gabriel Medrano, wrecks resulting from cell phone use are increasing in the Texas Panhandle.

      "A lot of times, our parents are actually modeling this behavior for our teenaged drivers," he pointed out. "So, parents out there, I would suggest, you know, to think about what you're doing out there on the roads. You have your kids in the back seat and they're watching you."

      He added education is a key in saving lives, and putting texting and driving into driver education classes could help spread the word about how dangerous the habit can be.

      Hodge-Campbell said she hopes commissioners will take the petition seriously and follow the lead of other cities across the country that have banned texting and driving.

      "Just last week, right before I started this, my aunt and uncle were actually rear-ended at a stoplight from someone texting," she said. "Another friend of mine sent me photos from where her nephew was in a rollover. He was actually at a stop sign and hit by someone texting who never attempted to stop."

      According to, a driver is 23 times more likely to get into a car accident while driving and texting, and drivers are also six times as likely to get into a car accident while dialing a number into their cellular devices. The website also shows a driver's reaction time decreases by 35 percent when texting, and steering capability goes down by 91 percent.

      Click here to sign the texting and driving petition.