SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- School buses in Yorktown now carry messages that take aim at stop distracted driving.
Decals that say, "STOP TXTING U R DRIVING," have been placed on the back of 125 school buses in the Lakeland Central School District.
The initiative is via a partnership between the district and the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK).
The community climbed aboard the idea instantly. Within 24 hours from the start of a Facebook fundraiser, money poured in to pay for the decals.
The effort grew out of these grim statistics. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“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.”
“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.”