In March 2013, Fargo Police, Essentia Health and Forum Communications launched a Texting While Driving awareness campaign titled, "Eyes Forward (:FWD)." The campaign will continue through 2013 and hopefully will be successful for many years to come. Television ads, radio announcements, educational flyers, classroom curriculum, and many events will help us get the word out about the dangers of texting while driving.
Distracted driving: It’s been in our local and national news. There is no doubt the topic is a hot and important one. A 2010 online survey by AAA and Seventeen Magazine of 1,999 teens ages 16-19 found that 86% had driven while distracted even though 84% know it’s dangerous and 32% don’t think anything bad will happen to them.
A texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver.
Teens are more likely to speed and allow shorter following distances than older drivers. Teens also have the lowest rate of seat belt use. A 2011 study showed only 54% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts.
As parents you are the most influential people in your child’s behavior. You can make a difference by getting involved and helping them develop a lifetime of good driving habits.
Take that first step: Talk with your child about staying safe behind the wheel. Discuss what it means to be a safe driver and set ground rules for when they are behind the wheel. Make a Family Pledge and have every member of your family commit to distraction-free driving. Set a positive example for your kids by putting your cell phone somewhere you won’t be tempted to use it while driving.
FACT: Under North Dakota Century Code (39-08-24), any use of an electronic communication device by a minor (under the age of 18) is prohibited. This law prohibits the use of an electronic communication device to talk, compose, read or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle.
Since the Fargo Police Department has heightened their enforcement on distracted driving in 2012, they have issued 157 citations to date for texting & driving. The Fargo City Ordinance 08-0321 includes all forms of electronic messaging such as texting, e-mailing, instant message and surfing the web even if to update Facebook. A violation of this ordinance carries a $100 fine.
“The statistics are staggering,” says Sgt. Ryan Dorrheim, “Which is why it will take more than just a police officer issuing a citation.”
If you want to share your story with us, please contact Officer Jessica Schindeldecker 701-461-7872.
Watch for Eyes Forward at the following events:
When | Time | Event | Where
March 2 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Kickoff Event @ West Acres Mall-Food Court
May 20 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Swing Into Summer Fun and Safety @ Scheels Arena
June 14 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Midwest Kidfest @ Island Park
June 25 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Fargo Police Community Picnic @ Island Park
Fargo Parks Community Block Parties