As we head into the New Year’s Eve weekend one of the nation’s largest cellphone companies is taking a proactive stance against distracted driving. AT&T has released an 11-minute video documentary, entitled “The Last Text,” to raise awareness of the dangers of texting behind the wheel as we head into the final weekend of the holiday season.
The video can be viewed at both of the source links below, as well as on YouTube. It is part of a broader anti-texting publicity campaign sponsored by AT&T under the umbrella title “It Can Wait.” The documentary “features stories about people whose lives were adversely affected by texting behind the wheel,” according to a report in USA Today.
Oregon, of course, has had a distracted driving law in place for almost exactly one year. That law makes texting by drivers illegal under pretty much any circumstances but, as I noted in a post just last week evading the ban is relatively easy and the fine for getting caught ($90) is relatively low. The Oregon distracted driving law is still too new for any significant body of data to have been gathered concerning its enforcement.
That leaves education as one of our most important tools in cracking down on this outrageously dangerous practice. The AT&T video is the latest in a series of signs that the electronic communications industry realizes that it has a stake in urging people to use its products and services responsibly.
When education fails, however, the court system can provide another effective means of deterrence. The criminal fine for violating the Oregon distracted driving law may be low, but paying it does not exempt drivers from broader liability for the damages stemming from their reckless actions. A Portland distracted driving attorney can be an essential ally for victims seeking justice beyond that offered by our criminal courts. AT&T is to be congratulated for stepping up this New Year’s Eve – but drivers bent on continuing their dangerous conduct need to know that a sterner rebuke than a YouTube documentary awaits them if they flaunt the Oregon and Portland distracted driving rules.
PC Magazine: AT&T Releases Anti-Texting while Driving Documentary