U of U partners with Zero Fatalities Utah to break the created culture of distracted driving

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – One in every four car crashes involves some type of distracted driving.

Zero Fatalities Utah and AdThing, a University of Utah on-campus ad agency staffed by students kicked-off the “You Drive. I’ll Text” campaign Thursday.

The campaign icon is an 8-foot tall iPhone. Officials with Zero Fatalities say the phone shares safety messages with students all throughout campus about the dangers of distracted driving.

The “You Drive. I’ll text” campaign was designed to target distracted drivers. Statistic posters and the giant phone will live on campus for the academic year to encourage them to break their habits of distracted driving.

Blake Tomlinson, University of Utah student says he can see the importance of the campaign and the positive effects it will have on students. 

“I think it’s a good initiative, that I guess needs to happen,” Tomlinson says. The giant iPhone that will roam campus will catch student’s attention and serve its intended meaning, he added

Carlos Braceras, Executive Director of Utah Department of Transportation says as a state we should all be working toward a Zero Fatality goal. He says he feels this specific campaign will reach a specific group of people in a unique way. 

“When students talk to students, they know how to communicate with their friends and peers,” Braceras says. “We [UDOT] may think we know how to get a message across, but it’s probably not going to be taken the same way as when it comes from one of your friends.”

Braceras says he understands that our phones are a big part of our lives but that we have to change that created norm when choosing to get behind the wheel. 

“Long term this is really about building a culture; our society is evolving so fast with technology–and technology inserts itself into everybody’s lives, and sometimes we’re not sure what role that technology should play,” Braceras adds. 

Zero Fatalities Utah

According to Zero Fatalities Utah, 176 lives have been lost on Utah roads so far in 2019. And in 2018 264 lives were lost. 

UDOT officials say they are excited for the University of Utah’s added push bringing awareness to distracted driving will help them get closer to their goal of Zero Fatalities on Utah roads.

To learn more about the Zero Fatalities campaign clicker here.

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