Dead Teens' Final Texts Star in New Ad Campaign

Campaign pushes to stop texting while behind the wheel
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2010 8:13 AM CST
Dec 15, 2009, Tina Derby sends text messages while driving in Concord, NH. Derby loves the ease and speed of texting, even while driving, and sees no need to pull over to tap her fingers on her phone.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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(Newser) – "No text is worth dying over" is the message of a new campaign to stop young drivers from texting behind the wheel. The campaign, being launched today by AT&T, features parents of teenagers who died texting, like 18-year-old Mariah West, who flipped her car into oncoming traffic while texting with a friend, and the final messages the teens received before dying. The last message West got was "Where U At"—not, as the campaign hopes to demonstrate, a sentence worth dying over.

The campaign will use everything from Facebook to the protective clings on new cellphones to try to overcome teens' feelings of invulnerability and convince them that texting and driving is a deadly mix. It comes as a growing number of states pass laws banning texting while driving. Still, many young drivers insist "'I know it's dangerous, but I've figured out how to do it safely' or 'I can put the phone on top of the steering wheel and do it,'" an AT&T rep tells USA Today.

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