San Francisco billboards tackle texting and driving

By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
@jacobca1995

You might want to rethink texting and driving or risk public humiliation./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Intel Free Press

You might want to rethink texting and driving or risk public humiliation./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Intel Free Press

For those of you who text and drive, I have some advice for you: beware.

In San Francisco, several local drivers were publicly humiliated when billboards were unveiled showing them on their phones while behind the wheel of their cars. The images were captured by a local graphic artist, Bryan Singer, who paid for the billboards with his own money in order to spread awareness of the dangers caused by distracted driving.

“It’s not so much about shaming an individual as it is about making people think twice,” said Singer to a local news affiliate.

For the time being, this type of PSA is limited to the San Francisco area. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if other cities adopted the campaign soon enough. There are numerous statistical reports that illustrate how Americans are in far more vehicular accidents than other areas of the world, and distracted driving figures into nearly a quarter of these crashes.

I admire Singer for attempting a radical method in order to curb these statistics, especially considering the many accidents that still occur and stern warnings have done little to make an effective impact.

There are, however, a few weaknesses with his campaign.

For one thing, the images on the billboard appear too dark to be seen clearly from the road. Mixed with their elevated position and the glare of the sun, I can understand how numerous drivers would be unable perceive the full content of the photograph. The images themselves convey an important message, and I hate to think about the irony of people getting into a car accident because they were distracted by the billboard telling them not to get distracted while driving.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there will never be enough billboard space in the world to make drivers wary of their actions. The odds of being one of those foolish people caught in the act are simply too small to strike an appropriate amount of fear into the hearts of the nation’s most shameless offenders. In their minds, texting and driving seems harmless, and it is because of this ignorance that those statistics will most likely remain constant.

 

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