TU stops texting, calling on the road

The preliminary six months are up for the Ohio texting ban and in an effort to make roads safer, Tiffin University announced they have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to stop distracted driving.

According to Jennifer Boucher, director of safety at TU, Tiffin University has pledged their support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.

“This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”

While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction visual, manual and cognitive.

The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education; the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.

Tiffin University’s campaign handed out information material in the Gillmor Center as well as providing computers for people to use in conjunction with AT&T showing firsthand the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

“I feel the program showcases passion for the students and care that’s displayed on a much different, yet important scale,” junior Joshua Franklin said.

Students were encouraged to download applications, such as the AT&T Drive Mode which is a mobile application that can be set up to automatically send a customizable reply to incoming messages when the vehicle starts moving 25 mph.

“Every driver at Tiffin University has a role in this effort,” Boucher said. “However, we especially want to reach out to students because we know statistically, the under 20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”

Tiffin University’s goal with this campaign is simple; save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”

“When you see something so many times it becomes almost instinct to look back on that in situations that call for it. Whenever I heard my phone vibrate while driving I thought about all the stickers and magnets I’ve seen. I don’t text and drive to begin with, but the campaign helped drive the point home,” Franklin said.

The campaign was during one day in February, the end of the six month period, Boucher said. “Each year I plan on having the campaign run twice a year, which will begin next fall,” she said.