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Sheriff: Make a Pledge to Not Text and Drive

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office asks people to make a New Year's resolution in 2013 that could save a life or prevent a crash.

Editor's Note: The following was taken from a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office e-newsletter.

A new survey indicates that while 97 percent of teens know texting while driving is dangerous, 43 percent of them admit to sending a text while driving – and 75 percent say the practice is common among their friends.The survey found that teenagers feel pressure to quickly respond to text messages – and adults are also setting a poor example by texting while driving themselves.  

Make a New Year's resolution in 2013 that could save your life or prevent a crash. Take a pledge NOT to text and drive and ask your family members to do the same. Remember, it is illegal to text and drive in Minnesota.
 
Create a new habit:  Put your phone in the glove box as soon as you enter your vehicle.  You won't be tempted to use it and you can focus on your responsibility to drive safely.

Curb the Urge:  If you know someone is driving -- don't send them a text and don't call them.  Utilize apps like AT&T DriveModeTM that provides a customizable auto-reply message to incoming SMS or MMS messages, notifying the sender that the user is driving and cannot respond.

Make it a Family Affair: Hold a family discussion to emphasize the dangers of texting while driving. Educate yourself and your child about the ramifications of texting while driving by utilizing the resources available at www.itcanwait.com, including educational brochures, posters and safety tips.

Hammer Home the Message: Show your children “The Last Text” – an AT&T documentary that features stories of real victims whose lives were altered – or even ended – by texting behind the wheel. The video campaign is also available at www.itcanwait.com

Source: AT&T's "It can wait" campaign. The campaign has partnered with the Sheriff's Office on distracted driving prevention.

Erik Wood January 10, 2013 at 03:17 AM
I think this effort will help these young drivers (and hopefully the adults as well) get the message. It has to start with the end user, the driver...deciding not to partake in distracted driving and this will help drive that message home. I also decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool for teens and their parents called OTTER that is a simple, GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws. Erik Wood, owner OTTER app do one thing well... be great.
David F January 10, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Another tip I would suggest if you have children that can type or other teens in a car is to have a non-driver respond to any texts. It seems common sense but it can avoid texting when driving and after all children learn habits from their parents. I wish they would outlaw the use of any smart device while driving. We have all seen bad driving behavior by both talking and texting on smart devices.
Mike E January 13, 2013 at 12:55 AM
I think the sheriff should lead by example, and do what Ft Wayne did, by not allowing use of in car computers if the car is travelling more than 15 MPH. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2012/08/policing-police-those-distracting-car-computers/3127/

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