Tori says using the phone behind the wheel is a dangerous distraction, "driving at the speed limit of 55, is equivalent to driving down a football field and closing your eyes for five seconds, and if you asked somebody to do that nobody would do that willingly," explained Mangino, "but that's what you're doing when you look down and receive and send a text message."
Tori is working on her Gold Award Girl Scout project. She has been tenacious about getting people to put down the phone. Tori's mom, Jill Mangino, says it's working, "I have a friend that every time I have breakfast or lunch with her, we meet sometimes, and every time she goes to pick up her phone when she's driving she thinks of Tori," explained Jill Mangino, "so it has already made an impact on people."
With help from AT&T Tori is taking the message even further, "we've seen all the effects locally and I think we're closer to it than most being that that's our business," explained Pete Forte, an area sales manager for AT&T, "so we do feel a responsibility and a stake in the community to get that message out and give people like Tori the tools to get that message out."
AT&T has given Tori its blessing to use the stories of victims of texting and driving from the It Can Wait campaign. Tori's creating a P.S.A. and long form video. She wants drivers to realize their choice to text behind the wheel effects other people's lives, "they're not only effecting their life and who's in the car with them but they're also effecting everybody else around them," explained Mangino.
Tori has completed 40 hours of work on the project, and still has 40 more to go.
She plans to present the long form video to her classmates at Rush Henrietta High School in May.