Kids in many Iowa schools still say the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but this week they’re being asked to make another sort of pledge. Mick Mulhern, spokesman for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says thousands of pledge cards are being sent to law enforcement offices across Iowa as part of Teen Driver Safety Week.

“The pledge cards ask the drivers to not drink and drive, to buckle up, to drive the speed limit and to not text while driving,” Mulhern says. “There’s a spot on there for them to sign it to make the pledge.” A federal study of data from 2008 found that more than 37-hundred teenagers died in car crashes and that around 660, or 18%, involved some sort of distracted driving. Another study found one in three teens told researchers they had texted while driving.

Mulhern says it’s hoped the pledge cards will make young drivers think twice before they take dangerous risks while driving. Mulhern says, “We ask the kids to sign them and hold on to them and return them home or to a teacher or an adult in their life that they feel would be caring for their well being.” The program is called Mobile EYES, for Every Youth Exhibiting Safety. Mulhern says the pledge cards are readily available from law enforcement offices in all 99 of Iowa’s counties.

Mulhern says, “If schools or organizations or parents are interested in obtaining pledge cards, they can either contact their local police department or county sheriff, or they can contact me at the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.” He says distracted driving comes in many forms, including texting and talking on a cell phone, eating and playing with a radio, CD player, or MP3 device.

Learn more at the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.