The Lakeland Central School District (LCSD) has partnered with the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) in an effort to spread awareness about distracted driving. “STOP TXTING U R DRIVING” decals have been placed on the back of each bus in LCSD. ASK purchased the decals through the generous support of the community through a fundraiser on Facebook, where the funds were raised within 24-hours.
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
“This is a unique opportunity to promote awareness about the dangers of distracted driving throughout our community”, said Liz Talbert, Coalition Coordinator at ASK. “Young drivers under the age of 20 are especially at risk. Their lack of driving experience can lead to critical misjudgments when they are distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group and the numbers continue to increase.”
Dr. George Stone, LCSD Superintendent added, “Placing the decals on our buses carrying such a precious cargo provides one small additional layer of protection. Drivers behind a school bus reading this message may think twice and put their phone down.”
“Not only do the decals spread awareness throughout our community, they also provide a reminder to have a conversation,” said Erica Stanzione, Director of Communications and Partnerships at ASK. “Parents should talk to their teens about the risks associated with texting or talking on the phone while driving and make their expectations clear. Adults also need to lead by example and keep their phone down while driving.”