Can 30 seconds break your texting while driving habit? - KMSP-TV

Can 30 seconds break your texting while driving habit?

Posted: Updated: April 3, 2014 03:14 PM
(KMSP) -

Texting while driving is a factor in thousands of deadly crashes each year, yet people continue to ignore the dangers or believe they are part of a nonexistent elite that can text, drive and still pay attention to the road.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a "U Drive, U Text, U Pay" campaign that will run from April 7 to April 15, designed to combat distracted driving.

The 30-second ad, which will run on TV and online, shows a woman looking down at her phone and driving through a stop sign before she is broadsided by a semi.

VIDEO: Manifesto - Texting while driving video on YouTube

3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The PSA coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown on distracted driving.

THE LAW IN MINNESOTA

"No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic."

Electronic messages defined by the law include:

- Email
- Text message
- Instant message
- Command or request to access a World Wide Web page

MINNESOTA VICTIMS SUPPORT CAMPAIGN

Eight months after his younger brother was killed on his scooter in front of his parents home by a driver believed to have been texting, Matt Riggs admits it's still difficult to find the words.

"It made me realize what I was doing in the car because I was doing the same thing -- checking my phone," Riggs told Fox 9 News. "People do these things. They don't' realize what they're doing."

The family is remembering David Riggs by channeling their grief into advocacy against distracted driving, and while the new commercial is hard for them to watch, they wanted to see it and say they are grateful for it.

"David wasn't just my younger brother," Matt Riggs said. "He was my best friend and I miss him every day."

With about 3,300 people killed each year by distracted driving and another 421,000 injured, the Riggs say they know one commercial won't be a cure-all; however, they do hope at least a few families will be spared the pain they suffered.

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