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New social media campaign strives to end distracted driving

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - 

A new social media campaign launched Thursday from the Indiana Toll Road wants you to help put an end to distracted driving. The campaign is called “Put The Phone Down,” and it’s urging motorists to make pledge videos.

Police say texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in a crash.

“Being the communications manager of the toll road, there’s accidents reported quite often due to distracted driving,” said Dylan Souza. I see it first hand and it makes me so upset because I know these are 100 percent preventable, all of these accidents are. You just have to put the phone down.”

The campaign launched its own video, including a first-hand story from Rick Fedder, the chief operating officer of the Indiana Toll Road. His daughter almost died from a distracted driving accident. The complete video can be viewed here.

Now the Indiana toll road is hoping you’ll make your own video pledging to stop texting and driving. Souza says he thinks video challenges make more of an impact.

“I think that it relates with people better when they see friends or colleagues taking part in a challenge and saying, ‘You know what, no, we’ve had enough. It’s time to put the phone down while we drive,’” he said.

Unlike some other social media challenges where there are clear instructions, this campaign encourages you to be original. Souza says he wants people to be free to tell their story however they want, because everyone’s story is different.

So here’s how it works, you make your video saying why you’re taking the pledge to stop texting and driving. Post it on social media with the hashtag #PutThePhoneDown. Then challenge your friends to do the same.

Select videos will be added to the campaign’s website. If yours is chosen, you’ll be eligible for a $100 gift card.

Souza says the goal is for people and companies to take this campaign and make it relevant in their own lives.

“There are tons of companies that have trucks that deliver their product. So if they use our safety campaign for ‘Put The Phone Down’ and implement it with their employees and say ‘Hey we have a no texting while driving policy while operating company vehicles,’ that’s the end goal. I really want people to take this campaign and make it beneficial in their own life.”

If you’d like to make the pledge or learn more about the campaign, click here.


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