Drive Now TXT L8R Media Contest part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Indiana is working to reduce text-related distracted driving through the TXT L8R Media Contest.
Staff Writer

Drive Now TXT L8R Media Contest is a part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, recognized in the month of April. The annual Drive Now TXT L8R Social Media Contest is an opportunity for Indiana high school, trade school, and college students to win scholarships, as well as spread the word to “Drive Now, TXT L8R.” Participants have a chance to win up to $5,000 in scholarships.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage motorists to engage in safe driving behaviors and not be distracted from the primary goal of driving.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reported in 2012, 3,328 people died in crashes linked to driver distraction, and more than 421,000 people suffered a distracted driving related injury. Around 17 percent of all crashes resulting in an injury involved driver distraction.
The main activities for distraction include cell phone use while talking, texting, or taking photos; eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming such as applying makeup, brushing hair; using a GPS, watching videos, or changing the music.
All distractions are bad and dangerous to the driver and those around them. Not looking at the road, hands not on the wheel, or not being focused on driving are the three main types of distracted driving.
This year, the contest has undergone a few changes and still works to highlight the dangers of distracted driving.
Those wishing to participate need to register their entries and contact information. Registration is open now until April 30, 2016. Registration is available at bit.ly/1Uxlu5s.
Winners will not be selected by “Likes,” but by creativity in this year’s contest. Participants are encouraged to read updated rules carefully at www.txtl8r.in.gov.
Participants are also encouraged to use Twitter. The campaign’s new Twitter account, @TXTL8R_IN will offer resources and helpful information during contest. There, participants can find their entries retweeted and join in the cause to keep their peers safe on the roads.
There are now more crashes related to texting and driving, than drinking and driving. THose who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash. Texting while driving is against the law and has been since July 1, 2011, to type, transmit, or read email or text messages on a communication device while driving in Indiana. Violators can be fined up to $500.
The Drive Now TXT L8R Social Media Contest is run in partnership by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Department of Labor, Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana State Police.
For more information, go to www.txtl8r.in.gov, email txtl8r@bmv.in.gov, or follow @TXTL8R_IN on Twitter.
Information on distracted driving can be found at http://in.gov/dol/2873.htm.