A coalition including the City of Jacksonville have teamed up to encourage students to campaign against distracted driving. The group includes: ABATE Tri-County, Mayor Andy Ezard, Phil McCarty, the city’s emergency services coordinator, Mary Jane Million of Lincoln Land Community College and several high school students and administrators, among others.
Morgan County Deputy Coroner Marcy Patterson explains the campaign:
“A group of community leaders got together and decided that we needed to address the distracted drivers in our community. We had a couple fatal accidents in the past year, and we just as a group decided we should take a look at what was going on. We requested help from the local schools and received an overwhelming response. We have a simple message to share, put your phone down, do not text, do not drink coffee, pay attention to your car and do not become distracted. That is all we are asking of this community for one month.”
The plan is to have people pledge by wearing multi-colored thumb rings. If you are in need of a thumb ring and wish to sign the pledge, notify The Source Newspaper, WLDS Radio, ABATE Tri-County or The City of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens said the police department has distracted driving prevention activities coordinated for later in the month of April.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, over 3,100 people were killed, and 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.