Posted by Christy Reis, Chair of GentXt Advocacy Committee, October 5, 2012.
Advocacy is our main focus this year. This past summer, our advocacy committee attended multiple Drive Aware Oklahoma task force meetings and discussed ways in which to bring better awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to all Oklahomans. During these meetings, the task force voted and decided to use the Ad Council’s campaign, “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks”, in order to promote our message. We are excited to have been leaders in this new statewide task force. The highlight of our efforts will be a publicity blitz week during October 21 through October 27, called Drive Safe Oklahoma Week. We will be instrumental in organizing and speaking in a multi-media press event, including radio and news stations, and local newspapers.
Thanks to our many graduating seniors/co-founders for their dedication and hard work over the past three years. We will continue to build on your foundation and spread our important message. Good luck in your future endeavors.
In a recent article on December 8th, 2011 the National Highway Traffic sSafety Administration released studies showing a 50% increase in texting and driving since last year. CBS has the whole story link below. Caution: there are videos that contain graphic content; viewer discretion is advised.
Thank you for your support and keep striving for a world without texting while driving.
Posted November 14th, 2011 by Pranav Kaul, Kyle DeFord, and Cole Inhofe
Are state laws effective in reducing distracted driving involving cell phone use??
In Wisconsin, a texting while driving ban was passed nearly a year ago. However, after several months, officers now don’t feel that it is accomplishing much because it only bans typing messages, not reading them. Consequently, officers have only given out 162 citations for violating the law in the past year.
Last week, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to approve a law that bans texting while driving. It specifically outlaws reading and writing any message– with a penalty of 50 dollars if in violation. However, we believe that this law will likely be nearly as ineffective as Wisconsin’s, mainly due to the small fine for breaking the law.
The campaign called “Phone in one hand, ticket in the other” is a model campaign using high visibility enforcement. It has been piloted in Hartford and Syracuse with great success. Results, after several waves of law enforcement in these two communities, are impressive: phone use while driving had a 32% decline in Syracuse and a 57% decline in Hartford. Also phone use, even after the campaigns were completed, stayed down, never returning to the original numbers.
The question remains, how can this model be implemented in all states?
Posted November 13th, 2011 by Chris Franchi
Thanks to NOYS, Generation tXt met youth from across the country trying to spread the same message about texting while driving. GentXt members Chris Franchi and Glade Inhofe are in the Metro with Yovasso members: Javon, Shanice, and Katherine at the NOYS conference in Washington D.C.
There was a lot of excitement for Generation tXt members on our trip to the NOYS Conference in Washington D.C. We spent three days engaging in teen-led activities and presentations from experts spanning the nation. One of the most life-altering presentations came from Wil Craig, the teen vicitm of a texting and driving crash whose story is featured in the “The Last Text” video by AT&T. The crowd of hundreds was silent until they stood in an ovation for this brave young man. Experts were present from the Ad Council who talked about how to get an idea to stick in the mind of an audience, especially when given only 30 seconds. A retired DOT official talked about the importance of networking and starting in our own back yard. Overall, we made new friends, forged some new partnerships, and came back with lots of ideas for Generation tXt’s two large scale summits coming in February and April 2012 in Oklahoma. We learned that it takes many voices, including those of teens, to create structural change in our society.
A special thank you to Nicole and Sandy of NOYS, who included Generation tXt in a nationwide group of teens who will make a difference in our communities. We look forward to reporting back about our own Oklahoma Summits!
–Chris Franchi, Glade Inhofe, Savannah Nicks and Elena Beene
Posted October 9th, 2011 by Pranav Kaul, Kyle DeFord, and Cole Inhofe
When looking at the number of crashes caused by distracted driving, we found some shocking statistics and trends.
Using FARS data, two University of North Texas researchers predicted that increased texting volume resulted in 16,000 fatalities in the United States from 2001 to 2007.
According to NHTSA in 2009, approximately 5,500 people died and half a million people were injured because of distracted driving. From 2005 to 2009, fatal crashes reported to be associated with driver distraction increased from 10% to 16%. Of those drivers reportedly distracted during a fatal crash, the 30-to-39-year-old drivers were the group with the greatest proportion (24%) distracted by cell phones.
What does this mean? There appears to be a substantially increasing trend of serious accidents caused by distracted drivers as texting becomes more popular. We also note that it is not just teens who are suffering the consequences of electronic device use while driving. We support both education and legal bans with enforcement for drivers of all ages.
Sources: 1. Am J PublicHealth. Published online ahead of print September 23, 2010:e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.187179
2. Traffic Safety Facts, Distracted Driving 2009; DOT HS 811 379; http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Distracted-Driving2009.pdf