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‘Stop The Texts And Stop The Wrecks’ Is Message To Young Adult Drivers From Attorney General William Sorrell
CONTACT: Wendy Morgan, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507
October 28, 2011
Young adult drivers are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and 82% of young adult drivers (16-24) reported having read a standard text message while driving, according to recent statistics in a national survey conducted by the Ad Council. In an effort to educate young drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, along with the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council announces a new public service advertising campaign nationwide, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media channels that go live today along with a new website: stoptextsstopwrecks.org.
“The loss of any life in a motor vehicle accident is tragic, but especially more so when it is so easily preventable. Vermont drivers need to understand just how risky it is to text while driving – in addition to being illegal in Vermont,” said Attorney General Sorrell.
NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. 16% of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. The Ad Council’s national survey released today also found that 75% percent of young adult drivers have sent a standard text message while driving.
“For over twenty-five years we have been working with NHTSA to successfully address drunk driving prevention,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Research has shown that using a cell phone delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Through our… campaign we are working towards eradicating the mindset among young adults that texting and driving is a safe activity.”
Noting the work of Vermonters who have come together to help reduce drunk driving, the Attorney General warns Vermonters to be just as vigilant about distracted driving. According to Attorney General Sorrell: “In 1982, close to 70% of traffic fatalities in Vermont were alcohol-related. In 2009, that number was closer to 30%. Vermonters have made great strides in reducing fatalities from drunk driving. Driving while texting can be just as dangerous, and it’s against the law.”
Vermont’s “Texting Law” prohibits all drivers from texting or sending other electronic messages on portable electronic devices and prohibits young drivers from any use of a portable electronic device while driving. Drivers who text can face fines of over $300 and up to 5 points. Visit http://dmv.vermont.gov/safety/safety/texting for more information on the law.
Doug Walsh State Attorneys General 206-464-6388 firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Aldana NHTSA 202-366-9550 Public.email@example.com
Lisa Cullen The Ad Council 202-331-5052 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gregg Wasiak The Concept Farm 212.463.9939 email@example.com
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