Anyone who drives a car where there are other drivers knows that an increasing number of people behind the wheel find driving to be too bothersome. Instead of keeping their eyes on the road and their mind on the task at hand, these people have chosen to text their buddy about what they are doing on the weekend, checking their Facebook account to catch up on the latest Kardashians news, or using their tablet to watch Star Trek while speeding down the freeway. It does not take a large amount of intelligence to figure out that doing such things while driving is dangerous. Finally, the U.S. Department of Transportation is doing something about the problem, starting with running a graphic commercial that reinforces the risks of driving distracted.
The ad is running in April, which in case you don’t know is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. At the same time, law enforcement across the nation will be cracking down on distracted driving. The extent of the crackdown varies depending on department and local laws. In some areas the penalty is a pretty steep fine.
Department Secretary Fox said the issue of distracted driving is no laughing matter, which is why DOT is putting out the message that it will be dealt with seriously. “This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seatbelt use,” stated Secretary Foxx. “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the message you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”
It’s no small coincidence that the people in the video are all younger, which makes a loud and clear statement about what group U.S. DOT believes is at the greatest risk of distracted driving. Still, the campaign is meant as a wake-up call for drivers of all ages.