Archive for Monday, August 13, 2012

Texting Message

August 13, 2012


No text is worth losing a loved one.

No text is worth dying over.

No text is worth permanent brain damage.

A series of public service announcements currently being broadcast by AT&T; dramatically illustrates the dangers of texting and driving. The spots are a little hard to watch, but they should make everyone who sees them put down their phones and pay attention to the road.

A mother and father recall their vivacious daughter, Mariah. The mother holds up a card saying “Where u at” and explains it was the text message Mariah was reading when she drove her car into oncoming traffic. A young man, who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, is shown struggling through a therapy session, while speaking in a halting voice. His card says “Where r.” It’s the text message, he says, that caused the accident that “changed my life forever.”

Beside a photo of their son in his military uniform, a mother holds a card reading “Yeah T.” It was the message he was typing when he drove off the road, crashed and died of a massive skull fracture. A young woman talks about her little sister, Ashley, who giggled so hard that “she would even snort sometimes.” Ashley was reading her sister’s one-word text, “Yeah,” just before she flipped her car and was killed on impact.

It’s hard to imagine the pain of the people on the screen and the courage it took to share these stories in such a public way, but their messages have a powerful impact.

Many states, including Kansas, have passed bans on sending text messages while driving. The laws are well-intentioned but even the best of them are hard to enforce. The threat of fines or other legal ramifications may cause some drivers to change their texting behavior, but, for most, the threat of death or serious injury is a much stronger deterrent.

That danger becomes a stark reality through the stories in AT&T;’s “It Can Wait” campaign. The message is aimed specifically at teens, but it’s valid for drivers of all ages who choose to send and read text messages or even dial and talk on the phone when they are driving. It’s an especially strong message in Lawrence as so many university students head back to town. You may think it’s safe to talk or text, but so did the victims portrayed in these television spots. It should be a sobering thought.


Lawrence Morgan 3 years, 3 months ago

The above editorial carries a very important message.

When the cell phone rings, it is very compelling to answer the phone. But either with a phone message or a text message, it is an invitation to death.

I drive 120 miles a day, or more, and there are many times during the week when I see either a drunk driver or a person who is texting.

We must undertake new - not yet thought of - programs, to make this absolutely clear. I don't know if the answer is to somehow make it so that cell phones don't operate when a car is driving - I know that there are some patents down this line - but something more has to be done.

It isn't just true in the United States - it is also true in Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world. This problem must be dealt with on many different levels, and it can't wait.

grimpeur 3 years, 3 months ago

The message is aimed at teens, but their parents have already set the stupid example of cell phone use behind the wheel. It's a selfish, fashion-conscious, status-seeking, unnecessary behavior, and it's not limited to texting. But few observers have the sense to call for a ban on cell phone use behind the wheel, pretending instead that a texting ban is doing something about the problem.

Look at me! I'm important! I'm on the phone in my car!

Yeah. That's all it is. And yeah. It can wait.

Jim Johnson 3 years, 3 months ago

Use to be you could buy a fake phone at Wall-Mart and I knew a guy who had a wreck while pretending to talk on it. It was funny then but it was only a start of bad things to come. Probably the worst thing to have happen was for the cell phone companys to make it affordable so everyone could have one and that might be the partial answer to the problem. I had one years before it was trendy because of my business and my first bill was over $900.00 dollars, I learned quickly how to talk as little as possible. If they brought back roaming charges that would take away a lot of talking and I could live without texting.

Cai 3 years, 3 months ago

to be fair, there's absolutely no reason that a bus commuter, train rider, or passenger in a vehicle shouldn't be able to use their phones.

And it's worse than cell phone companies not investing in technology. Technology exists that would effectively prevent any cell phone from working in only a bubble around the driver's seat in a car. It can't get patented or be required to be installed in cars because "it's not what consumers want" according to cell phone company lobbyists.

grammaddy 3 years, 3 months ago

It can wait!! If for some reason it CAN'T wait, for God's sake PULL OVER!!!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years, 3 months ago

Excellent Point! Thanks for the PSA. Now if people will act upon the warning. I have to honk at someone in front of me,sitting at a Green light while they have their face in their I Phone, almost every day. Put the Phone down and Drive! Pass it on.

classclown 3 years, 3 months ago

How about they just do away with text messages altogether?

Cai 3 years, 3 months ago

The problems of texting and driving are large, and robust. And just like drunk driving, texting while driving should be eliminated. Whole heartedly.

But why, exactly, do you get to take away the ability of people who do use texting in a safe manner? (some do exist).

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