Fort Hays State enlists in effort to halt texting and driving

Just Drive

09/19/16
HAYS, Kan. -- Tigers and friends of Fort Hays State University have the opportunity to support the university and join a statewide campaign against texting and driving by participating in a competition announced today by the Kansas Insurance Department.

Six other Kansas universities are participating in the campaign and at the same time competing with each other. Fort Hays State joins the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, Pittsburg State University, Washburn University and Emporia State University in the campaign to reduce texting and driving.

The Kansas Insurance Department, insurance companies and governmental sponsors have created the "Don't Text #Just Drive" campaign to get university students and supporters to pledge to stop texting while driving.

Supporters of each participating university will be able to take the pledge two ways: online or by text messaging. The number of pledges each school receives will be compared to its official fall 2016 enrollment to calculate a percentage. Results will be tabulated and the winner announced during university athletic contests this fall and winter.

Voting begins today and ends Nov. 22. Pledge votes can be cast by texting 50555 and choosing the Fort Hays State keyword: Tiger. Voters can also go online at www.icwkansas.att.com. More information about the campaign can also be found at www.ksinsurance.org/justdrive.

Tigers and friends will also have the opportunity to show their support for the campaign and for FHSU in the competition by taking the pledge at a table in the Memorial Union from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Additional activities are under consideration but have not been finalized.

"We hope students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will participate in this initiative to help reduce the occurrence of texting and driving by submitting a pledge on behalf of FHSU," said Lisa Karlin, director of University Relations and Marketing.

Major funding for promoting the contest comes from AT&T, the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Automobile Insurance Plan, the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Allstate Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance and Upland Mutual.

The pledge that each voter agrees to is this: "No text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road. I pledge to not text and drive and will take action to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. No text is worth the risk. It can wait."

The Kansas Insurance Department notes that "a national study found that three out of four people surveyed admitted to texting while driving, even though they agreed that the activity is dangerous to themselves and others."

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