TXTL8R safety campaign encourages drivers to put down their phones

Distracted drivers a major road hazard. See the pledge to not use your phone while behind the wheel

TXT L8R Campaign

You see it all the time.  Police say distracted drivers using their cell phone, and not paying attention, have shown themselves to be great danger.

Those eyes, buried in their mobile device, are not looking at the road.

Michael Bacchus of Alberta said, "You go, 'that person isn't really paying attention and anything can happen.'"

Taylor Powell, Palm Springs, feels texting and driving simply isn't worth it.  She said, "I've had way too many friends who've gotten hurt from texting and driving."  She doesn't feel safe riding with anyone who is texting.   Powell said, "Somebody could be stopped right in front of you and you're not paying attention, you're going to rear end right into the back of them."

California's Wireless Communications Device Law took effect in 2009 making it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving.   Today, nearly six years later, distracted drivers continue to endanger themselves and others on the road.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Radford said, "If you told somebody, 'Hey, If you text and drive, today you're going to go out and kill yourself or someone else,' nobody would ever do it."  Radford said, "I think so many people have this mentality 'it'll never happen to me.' They don't understand it just takes a second."

We showed Chris Mendoza, Hemet, the TXTL8R Pledge even though he said he wasn't when Officer Radford stopped him.  He asked us for a copy of it.  We gave him ours.

Michael Bacchus said, "The pledge says, 'I will not text while driving and will use only hands free calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving.'  Fantastic!"  Bacchus said, "I have two small girls and I think it's important to lead by example."

Officer Radford says there are also aps to disable your phone while the car's moving, but they're easily defeated.

Other suggestions include higher fines and points on your driver's record, d-u-i type checkpoints or the campaign against teenage drinking and driving presented by police at local high schools.   The "Every 15 Minutes" program dramatically  reennacts a friend killed by a drunk driver.

Radford says the key is ultimately personal responsibility.

Radford said, "It's really up to the person themselves to be responsible and do the right thing."  

You can take the pledge too. 

The TXTL8R Pledge reads, 'I will not text while driving and will use only hands free calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving." 

To take the pledge, click here.

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