Dnt txt n drV

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

For the past two years, race car driver Tristan Nunez has been visiting Santaluces to inform students on the dangers of distracted driving, most importantly texting. Wednesday marked the MCA winner’s third visit.

Nunez was inspired to educate on texting and driving after repeated incidents where his mother would use her phone behind the wheel, almost crashing another car once.

The “Dnt txt n drV” presentation began with Nunez’s own PSA for Fox Sports, before he came onstage -amid screams- and talked about his concern with texting and driving, along with comparing race track driving to on street driving, with the latter being more dangerous than the former. Race track driving has drivers going in the  same direction, the same speed, and without distractions; street driving has drivers going in  different directions, different speeds, and with plenty of distractions.

Nunez then gave background information on his career, which was first noticed at the age of 11 when he would race go-karts. Race car driving wasn’t his first career choice, he was an avid tennis player – with a tennis coach for a father- and was supposed to go the Wimbledon route but instead began racing cars at 13. At the age of 17, while other students are still confused about their futures, Nunez was signed by Mazda to be a full-time professional driver. Now at 19, Nunez started his “Dnt txt n drV” foundation and visits high schools across the country.

Nunez’s mother handed out free car air fresheners to students who could name other distractions besides texting. Answers given included: eating, putting on makeup, loud music, and one proclamation of love for Nunez and asking for his “Kik.”

Four volunteers were later asked to engage in a obstacle course that simulated texting and driving. The four students were blind folded and drove a bike through a faux road made up of cones, with only three of them completing it successfully.

At the end of the presentation, students were urged to pledge to not texting and driving on the facebook page and enter the chance to win $250 in gift cards. Winners will be announced Thursday night, and those who win will be able to pick up gift cards from Mr. Yohe.

The Dnt txt n DrV foundation website offers $5 bumper stickers with the phrase “Don’t Be a Thumbass,” along with other merchandise. Profits will support the foundation and its upcoming goals of scholarships and grants for schools to continue education on the dangers of texting and driving.

After the presentation, students were allowed to take pictures with or have autographs signed by Nunez.