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Letter: Don’t text and drive

Today and tomorrow, transportation leaders from throughout the New England area will travel to Concord for the New England Transportation Safety Conference. As organizations and state leaders from throughout the region come together, we hope they will include in their discussions the importance of not texting while driving to truly achieve zero deaths.

Distracted driving is a serious problem on our roads. All too often, we see drivers looking down at their phones instead of focusing on the road ahead of them. Forty percent of teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. And a new online survey showed that while 98 percent of people know texting while driving is dangerous, 49 percent admitted to having done it.

In light of the transportation safety conference, let’s remember to put the phone away while driving. Put your phone in the back seat, or even in the trunk – just make sure it’s put away. Putting the phone down ensures your full attention is focused on the road and safety is made priority.

Paying attention means you always stop on red and obey the speed limit.

We’re encouraged companies like AT&T are joining the conversation and urging drivers to put their phone away through a pledge to never text and drive. We, along with other members of the Traffic Safety Coalition, have already signed the pledge and encourage others to do the same.

The danger caused by texting and driving is very real. Put the phone away and focus on what’s important: the road ahead of you.

PAUL and SUE OBERHAUSER

Somerset, Ohio

(The writers are national co-chairs of the Traffic Safety Coalition.)

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