Lawmakers and safety advocates across the country have long been warning about the dangers of texting and driving, but perhaps the best way to get the message across is with ambassadors of the demographic seemingly most affected by the public health epidemic: teenagers.
That seems to be the foundation upon which Global Youth Traffic Safety Month was built. The event was launched recently at the Jefferson Memorial, and teens and safety advocates were on hand to stress the importance of putting one’s phone down and eliminating distraction from our lives.
One teen spoke about the inherent need to target safety messages toward younger people so that the idea that the act is dangerous remains firmly ingrained in their minds. The South Dakota youth has spearheaded efforts in his own community to curb distraction. Also attempting to get teens themselves involved is an effort by the government that tasks students with creating Public Service Announcements which seek to reinforce the idea that texting has no place at the wheel.
A representative of the National Transportation Safety Board spoke about the need for parents to get more involved in speaking to their kids about distraction. Parents should also refrain from phone usage at the wheel so as not to set a bad example. She also talked about the need for graduated licensing programs.