One of my biggest pet peeves are people who text and drive. I don’t care if you are rolling or stopped, if you are on your phone behind the wheel, you’re probably a menace. You’re the person weaving across lanes, not paying attention when the light turns green, stopping a length and a half behind the car in front of you, etc. Banning texting and driving is hard to enforce, just like banning talking on your phone without a hands free kit. Because it’s a hard to enforce law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched grisly new ads combatting distracted drivers with the slogan “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” There are two versions of the TV spot below. Both have the same brutal reality and outcome.
The NHTSA released a report this April estimating that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving in 2012. It also states that federally funded enforcement programs combined with PSAs like these, reduced the dangerous practice of texting and driving from 4.1 percent to 2.7 percent in California and from 4.5 percent to 3.0 percent in Delaware alone. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To further ram this message home, the Department of Transportation is coordinating with law enforcement for a national crackdown on cell phone use while behind the wheel from April 10-15. I hope it works.