Seventh grader Olivia Krieble and her younger brother Henry spent the afternoon cutting, splicing and gluing.
But they weren’t putting together an art project for mom and dad’s refrigerator.
“We saw these people texting while driving,” said Olivia, “And we thought what if we could do something to get them to stop.”
So what more fitting than a stop sign? It reads, “Stop texting! We see you!”
“People can get into a lot of car accidents, and we just want to make the community safer,” said Henry, a fifth grader.
And Henry and Olivia are right. Research from AAA shows taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds can double your chances of having an accident. And that danger increases by eight times when texting while driving.
The idea comes into play when you see someone in a car next to you texting while driving. You hold up one of these homemade stop signs to let the driver know what they’re doing is dangerous, and hopefully save a life.
“Don’t text while driving is an important message, especially given the statistics,” said AAA spokesman Aaron Kupec.
But he cautions against an idea that could distract an already distracted driver or even result in road rage.
“However, when you see a driver in another vehicle doing something wrong behind the wheel it’s best not to engage that driver.”
Olivia’s parents say they understand why AAA cautions against engaging.
But Fred, Olivia’s dad, feels, “[The signs are] probably a better way to make your community safer than to ignore the distracted driver.”
Olivia’s mom, Kim, added, “We’re in a culture where we feel we need to multitask all the time. Nothing can wait one second. But really, it should wait.”
Olivia’s message is gaining support.
The first 250 signs printed are already gone.
And they’re getting requests from across the country.
“All these people were so excited about something that I had made,” said Olivia.
But most importantly, she’s making a difference.