FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – If you talk or text on your phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle, you will crash. That is the message from the Texas Department of Transportation, as they begin a campaign that will hopefully save lives. TxDOT launched the new safety effort on Wednesday morning in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square.
The announcement included an oversized, smashed smartphone showing off the campaign’s slogan: “Talk. Text. Crash.”
TxDOT is reminding people to stay focused when driving, because being distracted for even just a few seconds can be dangerous, if not deadly.
According to the department, distracted drivers caused more than 95,000 crashes across Texas last year. Most of those wrecks happened when someone between the ages of 16 and 24 was behind the wheel. But the second largest group blamed for distracted driving crashes were actually over the age of 45.
One person was in Sundance Square on Wednesday to share her personal story of loss, in an effort to shake up bad driving habits. Kathy Bond of Fort Worth lost her daughter, Katrina, nearly three years ago. Katrina was driving home through a construction zone when the driver behind her failed to stop. She died instantly.
The driver in that crash, Bond said, had just received a text message. That individual was never charged or even given a citation. “People think it is not going to happen to them,” Bond added. “I didn’t think it would happen to me. So, I try to show a picture of Katrina. I remind them of the Hurricane Katrina in case they forget her name. And, really, just think about what you’re doing.”
Bond hopes that nobody else ever has to go through the kind of loss that she has suffered, all because someone failed to pay attention while they were driving.
After the stop in North Texas, the giant campaign phone will travel to San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso before ending its tour in Houston.
TxDOT Spokeswoman Natalie Galindo:
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