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corner corner The Fiscal Jackhammers: A modern day BFG

Teens Determined to Keep Texting in Books Not While Driving

by FJHammer
May 10, 2010

The BFG (short for Big Friendly Giant) is a children's book written by Roald Dahl, published in 1982, which has gone on to receive the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1985. The book is about a young girl named Sophie who is abducted and taken to Giant Country by the compassionate BFG when she sees him roaming the streets outside her window. She soon discovers that the BFG's self-assigned profession is to blow good dreams into the windows of children while they sleep. He finds these dreams in the Dream Country, and keeps them in labeled jars at his home. While showing Sophie some of the labels, she comes across a dream whose description catches her eye. The dream is about an irresistible book-- one so interesting, that when anyone opens it, they literally find themselves unable to put it down. The people in the dream go about their lives completely distracted, doing all of their daily rituals with their noses buried between the pages of this novel.

While the story of this book requires a stretch of the imagination, there is a very real issue to which it can be readily compared: Texting. In today's society, things like social commitment, busy schedules, media, and technology are all components which successfully keep us completely distracted. In this technological age, avoiding distraction is a daunting task, and so we let it creep into our lives, knowing that total abstinence is an impossibility. However, there are a few areas where our distractions should not, under any circumstances, be present. One of these areas is our driving.

In 2008, nearly 6,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. Distractions can be manifested in something as simple as changing the radio station, talking to a passenger, or talking on the phone. While seemingly harmless, these actions can be a serious problem on the road. It is shown that driving while using a cell phone lowers brain activity while driving nearly 37%. Drivers who use a hand held device while traveling are four times more likely to get into a serious wreck. In fact, 80% of all crashes and 65% of near crashes involve a distraction along the lines of this one, and most of the offenders are under the age of 20. Like the people in Dream County, we must not become so totally distracted that we are a liability to others while driving.

We are Team Fiscal Jackhammers, one of 20 teams in the US in a race against time: the 2010 Act Out Loud campaign against teen distracted driving. We are here to save the lives of your sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. We have taken it upon ourselves to fight the good fight against a serious threat to your loved ones. Our proposal is to promote awareness throughout the country by creating media that will bring awareness to the issue and educate people on the dangers of distracted driving. The winner of the contest will be determined by the most votes obtained during May 10 to May 21 period. Once per day during this time period, please go to actoutloud.org and vote for Team Fiscal Jackhammers (Look for Rio in pink). You will be able to vote once a day through the allotted time frame. Help us keep texting where it belongs -- in books, not on the road while driving.

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