New Efforts in Texas Fight Texting While Driving


It’s illegal to text and drive in Texas – but law enforcement will be watching closely for distracted drivers as part of the "U Drive, U Text, U Pay" campaign.

Even though it's point-blank unlawful to text while you're driving, new survey results have TxDOT going statewide to urge people to stop.

Nearly nine of 10 Texans surveyed admit they use their cellphones while driving – fully 89 percent – even though they know it’s illegal and agree that’s it dangerous.

Deidrea George of TxDOT says the numbers haven't improved for three years.

That's where the "Heads Up, Texas” campaign comes into play. It’s a statewide tour raising awareness about lowering your device and concentrating on the road. It can spare you a ticket -- and maybe your life.

One in five vehicle crashes in Texas involve distracted driving. That's nearly 20,000 accidents involving a driver preoccupied with their phone or other device.

The ratio hasn't improved in three years.

Additionally, law enforcement will be watching for distracted drivers.

The TxDOT “Heads up, Texas” campaign -- the agency has also partnered with AT&T and its "It Can Wait" initiative -- is touring the state with a distracted-driving virtual reality experience to get people to put down the phone.

The three-walled virtual-reality exhibit will be at Houston’s Northside High on Monday.

"Heads up, Texas” is intended to raise awareness about lowering your device … and concentrating on the road. It can spare you a ticket -- and maybe your life.

Texas’ efforts are in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ongoing goal to raise awareness about the deadly risks of texting while driving.

More than 3,000  Americans are killed each year in crashes that involve distracted drivers. The numbers have risen annually for the pay six years. Most are women. 

Drivers ages 16 to 24 are consistently observed using phones more often than older drivers.


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