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Boise driver's training course emphasizes danger of distracted driving

The message is being taught to students, but is it resonating? (CBS 2 Photo)

The pleas are everywhere — urging teens to put their phones away while driving.

Of course, you can say it until you're blue in the face, but how do you teach them in a way that sticks?

A driver's education course offered to students in the Boise School district is hoping to drive home that important lesson — starting in the classroom.

Instructors are teaching students to create a habit of putting their phones out of reach.

The goal is to build into their thinking the importance of focusing on the task at hand — whether that be listening in class or during the critical task of driving a vehicle.

"Teenagers are so connected to their phones these days that they will risk their life just to send someone a text," said Valentrina Zahiri, a student driver from Timberline High School.

Something that was once almost unheard of now makes up nearly half of crashes today — single vehicle collisions.

Wayne Norman, a Boise driver's instructor for more than 40 years, told CBS 2 News that rising statistic is because of distracted driving.

"Kids are playing with their phones, texting, they're calling, they're trying to get their music so they can Bluetooth it," said Wayne. "There's just so many distractions."

The message is being taught to students, but is it resonating?

What keeps these teens from reaching for their phone?

"Thinking I am not here... it's very heartbreaking," said Evelyn Hill, a student driver from Timberline HS. "Just over a small thing like a text."

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