By Chuck Hamby….
Verizon Wireless and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) recently announced the launch of the “Danger Thumbs” campaign to make the state’s roads safer by urging young Florida drivers to stop texting on their wireless phones when behind the wheel.
While texting drivers of any age can create a hazard on the roads, the campaign targets young, inexperienced motorists who also are generally the most prolific users of wireless text messaging.
The campaign is kicking off with a series of presentations by FHP officers at high school driver’s education classes across the state.
“Driving and texting is clearly unsafe and one of the most important lessons we can teach to young drivers as they hit the roads to start a new school year,” said Captain Mark Welch, FHP’s chief of public affairs.
The “Danger Thumbs” Florida initiative complements a more general “Don’t Text and Drive” public service campaign by Verizon Wireless that includes billboards, public service announcements (PSAs), advertising, brochures and other traditional communications aimed at all drivers.
In addition to school visits, “Danger Thumbs” will present safety messages in a variety of Web-based and social media channels particularly popular with young and learning drivers. Social media “walls,” quizzes, surveys, fan pages, contests and more will promote safe driving and highlight the great danger of texting while behind the wheel.
“We’re not picking on young people, but we definitely know how much they love to text,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. “If we can promote safe habits while these drivers are young, it will be a good thing for all Floridians on our roads for many years to come.”
In addition to the new “Danger Thumbs” campaign with the FHP, Verizon Wireless supports legal bans on texting while driving, and prohibits Verizon Wireless employees from texting while on the job or in a company vehicle.