State Highway Patrol Promotes Anti-Texting While Driving Campaign
JEFFERSON CITY--The Missouri Highway patrol is fighting back against texting while driving.
According to LT. John Hotz there have already been 800 accidents related to using a cell phone while driving.
He says they are targeting young drivers by speaking at various schools, putting stickers on all patrol cars, and eventually making the stickers available to the public.
The stickers have the letters D...W...T crossed out. The letters stand for 'Driving While Texting.'
The MO Highway patrol hopes that by raising awareness, the number of accidents due to distractions will decrease.
Hotz said, "We've had eight people killed and over 230 people injured in those crashes so you just have to ask yourself, is it really that important that you are willing to risk your life or somebody else's life just to get that message across.
MU student Kevin Burch learned his lesson about texting while driving the hard way.
"I was driving along and I stopped at a stop sign and my friend texted me before that so I was texting him back. I just sent him a question mark and as I was sending it I looked down and pulled into the intersection and before I looked up I hit somebody," said Burch.
Burch says he was only going about five miles per hour, yet it still cost him about $1,500 in damages.
Burch says he never texts while driving anymore, and when he is in the car with a friend he gets nervous if they text and he tells them to stop.
Hotz put it simply, "Just put the phone down."