Category Archives: Editorials

TxtResponsibly.org Launches New Awareness Campaign: Be a part of the solution. Share your story at TxtResponsibly.org

Since our launch in Spring of 2009, TxtResponsibly.org has worked to raise awareness about the growing epidemic of texting while driving. We participated in the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC in September and heard the issue debated among top technology leaders, statisticians, state and federal legislators and safety organizations. The most compelling and effective messages against texting while driving can be found in the stories of families and individuals touched by tragedy.

In support of National Youth Traffic Safety Month organized by National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), Pica Design, LLC (Founding Sponsor of TxtResponsibly.org) is donating marketing & design expertise to create a new awareness campaign highlighting personal stories. The campaign also coincides with the first National “No Phone Zone Day“, Friday, April 30th launched by Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Studios. This new campaign is an opportunity for those touched by a texting and driving incident or tragedy to share their story and raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

Amanda Umscheid’s 19-year-old sister was killed one year ago while texting. It was Amanda who was texting with her sister when the accident occurred; her guilt and sadness are constant reminders of that day. She is now sharing her story with high school and college students in her community to educate them about the dangers of texting while driving. Join Amanda and Be a part of the solution.

How to get involved:

Share your story and help raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

• Your story may be selected for the ‘Be a part of the solution awareness campaign. All campaign posters will be made available free for download and distribution at http://www.txtresponsibly.org/resources/.

• Selected stories will be given a dedicated page under the Share Your Story section at TxtResponsibly.org.

Be a part of the solution. Share your story today at TxtResponsibly.org.

About TxtResponsibly.org

Alarmed at news stories about texting-related car collisions, the staff at Pica Design, LLC—a full-service graphic design and marketing agency in Maine–decided to use our collective skills in design, marketing, advertising and communications campaigning to change behavior: to make people think twice before texting while driving; texting while walking across the street; texting and multitasking, period. The mission of TxtResponsibly.org is to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving and to prevent harmful injury or death caused by the act of texting recklessly. Free resources developed for TxtResponsibly.org have been referenced and distributed across the United States and Canada. It is our goal to continue providing free awareness resources to the public. If you’re interested in co-sponsoring this campaign or other TxtResponsibly.org initiatives, please contact us at info@www.txtresponsibly.org.

Hands-Free Info

HandsFreeInfo.com seeks to reduce the confusion over local laws and legislation regarding the operation of motor vehicles while using cell phones and text messaging devices. The legal landscape changes frequently, so this web site’s team stays busy keeping on top of the latest developments nationwide.

The site also is dedicated to reducing the number of distracted-driver accidents on U.S. highways by promoting the use of hands-free cell phone devices.

Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning to use Awareness Posters

On Monday, we learned that the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning will be using the free TxtResponsibly.org posters for use throughout their state to promote the dangers of texting while driving. We are delighted to be reaching new audiences and encourage other states to utilize the free TxtResponsibly.org awareness materials. TxtResponsibly Michigan!

AAA Campaign Aims to Pass Texting While Driving Bans in All 50 States by 2013

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are launching new legislative and communications campaigns to reduce distracted driving and improve safety on our roadways. AAA today announced that the motor club will work to pass laws banning text messaging by drivers in all 50 states by 2013, citing strong public support for the laws, the danger of distracted driving, and new research by the Automobile Club of Southern California showing the impact of California’s texting ban. AAA will join the Foundation to call on motorists to drive distraction-free for the week of October 5 – 11 as part of its inaugural Heads Up Driving Week: Try it for a week, do it for life.

“The new technologies that help us multitask in our everyday lives and increasingly popular social media sites present a hard-to-resist challenge to the typically safe driver,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Enacting texting bans for drivers in all 50 states can halt the spread of this dangerous practice among motorists nationwide, and is a key legislative priority for AAA in state capitols.”

Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws that address text messaging by all drivers. Two more states have laws that prohibit teens or other new drivers from texting while driving. Laws differ across the states and some have significant shortcomings, according to AAA.

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TxtResponsibly.org to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC.

TxtResponsibly.org has received and accepted an invitation to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC. on behalf of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Distracted Driving Summit will be convened by the Department of Transportation on September 30 – October 1, 2009 and will provide an opportunity for expert speakers from around the nation to lead interactive sessions on key topics including the extent and impact of the distracted driving problem, current research, regulations, technology implications, and best practices in enforcement and public outreach. More on Press Release.

Dr. Phil Interview with Texting Daughter and Concerned Mom

Texting drivers still not getting the message

St. Paul, Minn. — It’s been a little more than a year since Minnesota banned texting while driving, It’s obvious many drivers haven’t received that message — or they’re ignoring it. But safety officials vow they’ll be increasingly backing up the law with education and enforcement.

“I like to feel I can multitask,” said Kristine Brewitz of Stillwater, who figures she can text message while driving, as long as there’s no traffic and the road ahead is clear. “There are times when I feel I put myself at greater risk,” she said. “But I do feel I still watch the road and look for signs and stuff. There have been a few times where I’ve been a little bit scared. I’ve never been in an accident, knock on wood.”

A Harris Interactive poll last month found about two-thirds of Americans favor restrictions on cell phone use in cars. But an even bigger majority, 80 percent, support an outright ban on text messaging while driving. The group that represents the highway safety offices of all 50 states is calling for a nationwide prohibition, too. Insurance companies are paying more attention to the issue. One study found texters are up to 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Nationwide Insurance expects to offer discounts for drivers who adopt technology that blocks text messages to them while they’re in a moving vehicle. Devices and services that shut down mobile texting are expected to hit the market soon.

Read the full article here.

AAA Northern New England to distribute TxtResponsibly.org PSA Posters

After receiving a Letter for Support, the Director of Public Affairs from AAA Northern New England contacted TxtResponsibly.org to extend an invitation to have a representative attend the Maine Transportation Safety Coalition’s (MTSC) monthly meetings to highlight TxtResponsibly.org’s mission and awareness campaign.

In addition, the AAA has organized a workshop today for driver education instructor enhancement with roughly 70 instructors attending. Each of which will receive a copy of the TxtResponsibly.org PSA posters with their information packets. The workshop is organized by AAA and funded by the State of Maine to provide continuing education for driver educators.

Police say texting and driving becoming a problem

MONCTON, N.B. – Codiac R-C-M-P are warning motorists of the dangers of texting and driving.

Constable Mike Gaudet says it’s a growing problem in the Moncton area.

“We see it all the time. Basically, the idea of driving while using a cell phone has become driving while texting.”

Gaudet says the practice is a dangerous one.

“You have yourself a vehicle that is two or three-thousand pounds … it’s basically a weapon. If you’re not paying full attention, things can go wrong very quickly.”

Read the full article here.

How to Stop Driving While Texting

Study after study has shown that talking on a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood that you will have an accident. Text on a cell phone and you may as well be driving with your eyes closed. The grown-ups among us may have a hard time believing that anyone would be so foolish as to send a text while driving but the younger generation knows what I’m talking about. This story by my colleague Ashley Halsey shows how some people text as if their life (and by that I mean “death”) depended on it.

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