ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
TO `STOP THE TEXTS, STOP THE WRECKS’
(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen said Connecticut is participating in a nationwide advertising campaign being launched today aimed at reducing the number of deaths from distracted driving by educating young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.
“Laws prohibiting texting while driving are not enough. We need to change the culture, starting with the age group most proficient with new technology,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “They have the power to save lives by focusing on the road and not their cell phones while driving. Stop the texts to stop the wrecks.”
The national public service advertising campaign is sponsored by the state Attorneys General and Consumer Protection agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council. It includes TV, radio, outdoor and digital public service announcements and new postings on the social media networks Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Sixteen percent of all drivers younger than twenty involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. According to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council, 82 percent of young adult drivers (16-24) have read a standard text message while driving.
"Distracted driving is dangerous, and tragically, teen drivers are the most at risk of being involved in a fatal distracted driving crash,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The new public service ads were created pro bono by New York advertising agency The Concept Farm. The ads show teens and adults that when you text and drive, you are not multitasking, but essentially driving blind. By taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, you are making the road less safe for you, your passengers and other drivers. All of the ads direct audiences to stoptextstopwrecks.org, a new campaign website where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving as well as tips to curb the behavior. The website also has an area where individuals can post, and share on Facebook what they are doing to stop texting and driving.
Non-profit partners such as NOYS (National Organizations for Youth Safety) and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) will help spread the message through social networks by reaching out to their members across the country. All of the new public service announcements will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.
The campaign is the final portion of a youth driving safety program began in 2006 by the State Attorneys General and the Ad Council with funds from a nationwide settlement with Ford Motor Co. The Ad Council and NHTSA have worked together on consumer safety advertising campaigns for more than 25 years.
Elements of the campaign can be viewed at: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/51785-ad-council-texting-and-driving-prevention-nhtsa-state-attorneys-general
Assistant Attorney General Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection Department, handled this issue for the Attorney General.
Susan E. Kinsman
Facebook: Attorney General George Jepsen
Doug Walsh, State Attorneys General, 206-464-6388, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Cullen, The Ad Council, 202-331-5052, email@example.com
Karen Aldana, NHTSA, 202-366-9550, Public.firstname.lastname@example.org
Gregg Wasiak, The Concept Farm, 212.463.9939, email@example.com