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Montco Officials Get Behind Wheel Of Driving Simulator To Show Dangers Of Texting While Driving

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Montgomery County officials and workers took turns in the hot seat this past week, behind the wheel of a driving simulator, to demonstrate the dangers of texting while driving.

Josh Shapiro, Chairman of the Montgomery County Commission, worked the driving simulator like a pro with both hands on the wheel, until he fiddled with a text message. Everyone saw it coming on the screen but him, as he was distracted when he checked an incoming text.

"I lost focus on where I was driving, and ultimately crashed into a parked car."

When he was a state representative, Shapiro helped author the Pennsylvania law that bans texting while driving.

Next in the chair simulator, Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards, who barely drove a block before getting into trouble.

In real life, she recalls sneaking a look at a message while stopped at a light with her daughter.

"My 12-year old scolded me, took the phone and said while you're in the car you are not to look at your phone and she was right."

She says there are consequences.

"Sending a text is like driving blindfolded the length of a football field at 55-miles per hour."

AT&T has taken the chair simulator on the road in a campaign to collect millions of pledges not to text and drive.

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