SALT LAKE CITY – A company is hitting the road to spread an important message statewide: Stop to talk, stop to text.
Whether it is texting while driving or reaching around for something in the car, distracted driving poses grave dangers.
“With my nephew getting killed by a distracted driver a year ago, we kind of talked with Staker Parson, their safety personnel, on what we could do to get drivers and the public more aware,” Lee Goodrich said.
Chet Goodrich was driving a street sweeper when a distracted driver rear ended him. He was only 25 years old.
"There's that point of just anger, you know, you're so upset to think people would put themselves and other people at risk to make a text message,” Goodrich said.
One year after Chet's death, local construction company Staker Parson has teamed up with Utah Highway Patrol to lead the charge against distracted driving, especially in construction zones.
"We've noticed a significant increase in distracted drivers in our job sites,” Scott Parson, President of Staker Parson, said.
So, the "Stop to talk, stop to text" campaign was born. And, it has the support of some of Utah’s top officials.
“We want people to think twice, put their phone away, don’t text, don’t talk, stop before you do those things, nothing’s that important, and let’s get home safely,” Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said.
Staker Parson is hitting Utah roadways to spread the word.
“These are moving billboards, we have hundreds of trucks operating throughout Utah, and so as the barrels turn it's a visible way to provide a reminder for people to reinforce the idea: Stop to talk, stop to text,” Parson said.
It’s a message many are taking to heart.
“It’s affected me because I’m guilty of it,” Cox said. “I’ll admit it, and almost everyone will admit they've done it at some point, so driving along with Highway Patrol, I was shocked to look out and see how many people were doing, how distracted they really were.”
And, with everyone's support, it’s a chance to prevent more tragedy on Utah roads.
"Hopefully it will affect some people and get them to understand that, the reality of how fast things happen, and how it can affect other people's lives,” Goodrich said.
“The more drivers that practice Stop to talk, stop to text, the safer our highways will be for everyone,” Parson said.
Utah Highway Patrol officers will be handing out window clings and cards to drivers they pull over in order to remind them not to drive while distracted.