EXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texas Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving is underway.
The “Talk. Text. Crash.” campaign is an effort to remind motorists that not paying attention can have serious consequences. Officials said last year, 367 people died and 2,205 were seriously injured as a result of distracted driving.
Since September 1, 2017, it has been illegal to read, write or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200.
TxDOT officials want to remind motorists to put their phones down and give driving their full attention whenever they are behind the wheel.
Dangerous distractions include any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle, including using a cell phone. Research shows that regardless of whether a driver uses a voice-to-text program, hands-free device or a handheld device, the distraction will affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.
TxDOT’s new campaign offers these tips to prevent distracted driving that can lead to a ticket, or worse, a crash:
· Always give driving your full attention
· Pull off the road entirely and come to a complete stop before you talk or text
· Put your phone away, turn it off, or adjust your settings to block texts and calls while driving
· Tell friends, family and co-workers you won’t respond to texts or calls while driving
· Remember that all distractions are dangerous, so pay full attention when behind the wheel