MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) - Attorney General Luther Strange is calling on Alabamians to join in observing a national campaign on May 1 to discourage texting while driving and to highlight dangers of this practice.
To educate young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, Attorney General Strange, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Ad Council revealed new public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne . The new PSAs unveiled coincide with the first nationwide Stop the Texts Day, and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month.
"It is important that we call attention to the dangerous and tragic results of texting and driving," said Attorney General Strange. "People need to remember that the real and terrible risk is death or severe injury to themselves, their loved ones, or innocent bystanders."
According to a national survey released by the Ad Council, 60 percent of young adult drivers (aged 16 to 24) said they have texted while driving. NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.
"I am glad that I was able to be a part of this project. The Ad Council folks do a good job of bringing awareness to causes such as this. Hopefully this will help people realize how dangerous texting while driving can be," said Kasey Kahne, NASCAR driver.
The goal of Stop the Texts Day is to extend its message---"Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks."---with a texting and driving prevention PSA campaign via social media in an effort to educate young drivers about the risks of texting while driving.
Friends and parents of young adult drivers, and other safe driving advocates, are invited to share status updates from the campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day on why texting while driving is such a risky behavior.
Additionally, supporters can write an open letter to young adults imploring them to not text while driving on the campaign's Tumblr. A complete toolkit for Stop the Texts Day is also available to provide additional ways the public can participate
"While teen drivers often feel invincible, the reality is that texting and driving too often leads to terrible injuries and even death," said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, president of National Association of Attorneys General. "No text message is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Texting while driving should be as socially unacceptable as driving without a seat belt."
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