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GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving

Members of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition meet at GE-Peebles Test Operation to bring attention to the increasing distracted driving issue. Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving. GE-PTO unreservedly supports the traffic safety initiatives of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition and positioned the wrecked vehicle and the banner messaging at the entrance to their site, in an effort to educate all staff, contractors and visitors on the dangers of distracted driving, particularly texting and driving.

In an effort to make our roads safer in and around Adams County, the General Electric – Peebles Test Operation (GE-PTO) joins the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition’s campaign to stop distracted driving.  GE-PTO has pledged its support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
“We all know that talking or texting on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Lieutenant Randy McElfresh, Post Commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol-Georgetown Post.  “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving.  We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.
The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.
“Every driver in Adams County has a role in this effort,” said Debbie Ryan, Coordinator of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition.  “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”
GE-PTO, a business member/partner of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition, is committed to reaching out to their staff, contractors and visitors to alert them of the dangers of distracted driving and partnering with the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition to assist in tackling the ever-increasing problem of distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education—the same tactics that have curbed drinking and driving and increased seat belt use. So the next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,154 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once.  A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.
For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.

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