During the next few weeks, motorists in 19 Ohio counties could get the only text message they should read while driving.
The message won't arrive via a cell phone. It is on 21 billboards in AAA Ohio Auto Club's territory that read "SRSLY, DNT TXT AND DRV."
The campaign is accompanied by public service announcements on radio stations noting the dangers of distracted driving and urging people not to read or send texts while driving.
"Data shows that distracted driving contributes to one-quarter of all crashes," according to AAA. "Texting while driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, as it takes a driver's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving for an extended period of time."
So far, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted bans on texting while driving. In Ohio, AAA has been actively lobbying for passage of a bill - already passed by the house - which would ban texting while driving statewide. The bill now is before the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, and hopefully will receive attention from committee members before summer.
But it will take more than a law to curb texting while driving. Enforcement of the law and - more importantly - efforts to educate the public are needed to stop what all too often has become a habit.
That's why AAA Ohio Auto Club promotes safer driving through a Text-Free Driver Pledge. Meanwhile, the reminders are to be on billboards through May 11.