HOUSTON—If you drive on Houston’s freeways, you’ve probably noticed the electronic billboards that warn you about accidents.
Now, TxDOT is using those signs to try to help save lives.
How often do you see people text and drive? "Oh, all the time, all the time…" Gena Gaytos responded to us. That’s what she told us over and over again. And even though the chances of an accident go up, it’s still difficult to put the phone down.
Driver David Lee is candid about his close call. "I would have almost died had I not looked up while I was texting," he told us. "I started swerving into the next lane, and there happened to be a parked car there, and had I not looked up a second later, I probably would have run into him and he was changing his tire there."
Now, TxDOT wants to help drivers like David put the brakes on a bad habit. They are rotating electronic messages on the Transtar billboards stating "DRIVE NOW, TALK OR TEXT LATER" and "YOU TALK, YOU TEXT, YOU CRASH."
"The accidents that come as a result are very serious," Danny Perez, TxDOT spokesperson said. The signs warn drivers of the dangers of using the phone while behind the wheel, but TxDOT is also spreading the message about any kind of distracted driving.
"It’s not just texting, it’s distracted driving, turning your radio down, or trying to get something out of the glove box, or eat, it’s not just texting or talking on the cell phone," Perez said.
TxDOT is making bold statement, texting while driving is not illegal in Texas, unless you are a trucker or commercial driver. Still, these folks say, they work.
"I definitely need to be more aware, and those billboards do a pretty good job at that," Lee said.
Because not texting while driving could help you beat the traffic and better yet, save your life.