‘Close to Home’: Social-media tragedy

The latest video from AT&T's It Can Wait campaign against distracted driving shows the consequences of a mom's glance at a smartphone image posted to social media. In slow motion or full speed, it's not a pretty picture: The public-service ad follows through on AT&T's promise to expand It Can Wait beyond just texting & driving, based on studies that show social media use is a significant threat on roadways. The spot also has 30-second versions. Directed by Frederic Planchon via the agency BBDO New York. … [Read more...]

N.Y. signs off on ‘texting zones’

New York is setting up "texting zones" on state thruways and highways, with rest stops, Park-n-Ride lots and the like doing double duty as safe harbors for text messaging. Sorry, no cyber cafes or blazing-fast wireless service. The initiative appears to boil down to 298 highway signs going up urging motorists to pull off the highway -- safely and in designated areas -- instead of engaging in distracted driving. "We are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next texting zone," … [Read more...]

Herzog revisits texting tragedies

The "sequel" to Werner Herzog's stunning short films about the ravages of distracted driving has debuted at a running length of 35 minutes. "From One Second to the Next" visits with those whose lives have been shattered by four drivers who were distracted by text messaging. The film was sponsored by AT&T -- and created by Herzog as a director for hire. The half-hour film can be viewed below or at itcanwait.com The documentary opens with the testimony of the mother of Xzavier, a Milwaukee boy left in a coma and without legs after a woman who was texting hit him in a school … [Read more...]

$2.4 mil for Calif., Del. enforcement

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled a "Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving" that includes $2.4 million in funding for enforcement in Northern California and Delaware. LaHood's plan seeks to encourage the 11 states without distracted driving laws to take action, although there were no specifics on how this would be achieved. The new Department of Transportation plan also calls for the auto industry to adopt "new and future guidelines for technology to reduce the potential for distraction," but it was unclear if this signaled any kind of increased pressure on vehicle … [Read more...]

Bubblehead wants you — to stop texting

The usual sights on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles include famous street signs, beautiful sunsets, colorful graffiti -- and plenty of law-breaking distracted drivers: SUV owners yakking on cell phones; teens texting away while behind the wheel. Now there's "Bubblehead," a giant Barbarella-like cutie holding up a cell phone whose on-screen message reads: "PLS DNT TXT & DRIVE." Los Angeles artist Mike McNeilly created the 13,000-square-foot billboard as part of his continuing series of public service works starring the Bubblehead character, so named because she's wearing a space helmet -- and … [Read more...]