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W82TEXT campaign kicks off at Hermitage High

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – School leaders, Virginia State Police, the DMV and attorneys from Emroch and Kilduff took part in an event aimed at stopping distracted driving Thursday afternoon.

It was part of W82TEXT, a local grass roots effort, aimed at stopping texting and driving.

Speakers told Hermitage High School students about the dangers of texting and driving as how they are especially at risk.

Additionally, students got an update on the latest distracted driving stats.

In fact, more than 740 Virginia drivers died in 2010 because of  distracted driving. Many were killed in texting-related accidents.

Virginia State Trooper Norman Gray says 16-to-24 year olds are particularly vulnerable. He thinks using red W82TEXT thumb bands as reminders is a good way to create awareness.

"I believe texting and driving is widespread. It seems to be commonplace with a lot of electronic equipment in this day and time, and this age," said Gray.

Students that took the interactive W82TEXT pledge at the event, received an official W82TEXT thumb-band -- and a free ice cream.