“No text is worth dying for.”
That was the message repeated by President Bonita Jacobs and others Thursday at the University of North Georgia’s participation in Drive 4 Pledges Day.
Thursday would have been Caleb Sorohan’s 22nd birthday. Sorohan was a student at North Georgia College & State University in 2009 when his life was cut short in a car accident caused by his texting behind the wheel.
“We do want to remember him today and pay tribute to his family and friends who turned their loss into a movement to ensure no one else would have to experience such heartache,” Jacobs said.
At the Dahlonega campus were Sorohan’s grandparents Larry and Sallie Sorohan, and uncle, Bryan Sorohan.
In June 2010, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue signed Georgia Senate Bill 360. Also known as “Caleb’s Law,” the bill makes texting while driving in the state of Georgia illegal. If caught, a violator could pay up to a $150 fine.
“(It was) a tragic life cut short way too early, and yet we’re thankful that out of that we have a family here that has the courage and the wherewithal to say, ‘We’re going to take a tragedy and make something good out of it,’” said Paul Chambers, regional director of external affairs for AT&T.
The University of North Georgia asked its students to sign a pledge to refrain from texting while driving. Caleb Sorohan’s sister, Alex, was hosting a similar event at Berry College in Rome.
Sallie Sorohan said having the ceremony on the same day as Caleb’s birthday was a fitting tribute.
“I think one thing that has impressed me the most is a lot of people have been involved with this,” she said. “And it has taken a huge effort that seems to be growing, and that’s the important thing.
“I hope people won’t text and drive,” she added. “I hope no one even talks and drives.”