New National Ad Campaign to Target Distracted Driving - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New National Ad Campaign to Target Distracted Driving

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New ads are set to air next week as part of the Department of Transportation's national campaign to combat texting and driving. There's no mistaking the message this is trying to send.

In 43 states - including Nevada - texting while driving is against the law. But that hasn't stopped people from using their phones behind the wheel in large numbers.

Whether it's texting or talking, taking your eyes off the road is all distracted driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2012, more than 3,300 people nationwide were killed and about 420,000 injured in distracted driving related crashes.

Secretary of Transportation Antony Foxx sees the ad blitz as a way of changing a mindset.

"There are so many variances at the state level in terms of having texting while driving laws. We want folks to know that if they text while they're driving, it is a safety hazard...Sometimes we have to be shocked in to recognizing the reality is, and the reality is that distracted driving is not safe.

The new ad campaign is just one approach to tackling the problem.

Last year the 4 major mobile carriers in the U.S. worked together to create a series of public service announcements featuring stories from accident victims.

The government's hopes the $8.5 million campaign will help convince people - particularly teens - to change their behavior.

"Every person we can convince that they should not drive while being distracted is a life that we've saved, is a fatality we may have avoided."

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