Herzog looks at a texting tragedy

Werner Herzog did a PSA for AT&T

Werner Herzog is no stranger to grim subjects, having created the documentaries "On Death Row" and "Grizzly Man." A British newspaper recently cited the German film director's "50 years of potent, inspiring, disturbing films." Herzog was behind the camera for a rare commercial, a short but stunning PSA for AT&T's "It Can Wait" texting & driving campaign. Herzog says nothing during the clip, contrary to his style, and lets the mother of a paralyzed boy do the talking. "His legs are gone, he is paralyzed from the diaphragm down," the mother before the camera reveals Xzavier, confined to … [Read more...]

‘Seeya soon’: Family shares last words

boy's final words were on smartphone text

The text message in the image at left would seem routine, but the story behind it is heart-wrenching. Police in Greeley, Colo., say that text-messaging thread led to the death of a University of a Northern Colorado student on April 3. Alexander Heit, 22, of Boulder apparently was still typing when he veered into oncoming traffic, jerked the steering wheel to avoid a crash and flipped his vehicle. He died shortly after. Heit's family released the image as a caution to others who would text & drive. "I can't bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this," … [Read more...]

Bad rap on texting & driving in Houston

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and local rap star Bun B crossed arms and teamed up for a video promoting the "It Can Wait, Houston" PSA campaign. Bun B brought the street cred by comparing texting & driving with playing Russian roulette. He also was on hand April 2 at the mayor's splashy launch for the texting campaign, linked to the AT&T national program. Parker says she'll back a Houston ordinance banning text messaging while driving if a statewide law doesn't result from the 2013 legislative session. Last time around, the governor vetoed a Texas texting measure OK'd by lawmakers, and appears … [Read more...]

Too distracted to dodge the ticket

cops are ahead was warning to distracted drivers

Some helpful citizens in Delta, British Columbia, tried to warn their fellow distracted drivers that police were writing cell phone tickets ahead. Alas, the RCMP says, many of the yakking & driving motorists in Delta were too distracted to see the red-letter warning sign. "Our members still issued 49 violations," a law officer said. The crudely written sign (what else) reads: "Cops are ahead, get off your phone." Delta is part of metro Vancouver. In February, British Columbia police wrote more than 5,500 tickets for texting & handheld cell phone use, despite the widely publicized … [Read more...]

For Ray LaHood, a standing ovation

Ray LaHood headed Department of Transportation

Early critics were amazed to find DOT chief Ray LaHood campaigning, fiercely, against drivers' use of distracting electronic devices such as cell phones. He took it as a compliment. "Am I on a rampage?" LaHood said in the early years of his term. "Yes, I am, and why shouldn't I be?" Politicians and bureaucrats don't talk that way, but LaHood did. He cited a rising national death toll as drivers increasingly talked & texted their way down our streets and highways. Who can say how many lives (many of them young) were saved as LaHood used the DOT's bully pulpit in his campaign against … [Read more...]