Michigan State Police Team Up with Verizon to Combat Distracted Driving

The Distracted Driving kick off event hosted by Michigan State Police and Verizon at Novi High School on September 25, 2015.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Verizon and the Michigan State Police announced today the launch of a collaboration designed to educate Michigan high school students on the dangers of distracted driving. Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police and Verizon Vice President of Communications Jeffrey Nelson, made the joint announcement at Novi High School with the support of Senator Mike Kowall of Michigan's 15th District and Novi Community Schools Superintendent, Dr. Steve Matthews.

Statewide, the Michigan State Police dedicates 33 community service troopers (CSTs) to educate the public on prevention, education and awareness issues, including distracted driving. The CSTs will assist in the distribution of thousands of awareness-raising phone wallets, displaying the message "One Text or Call Could Wreck It All," courtesy of Verizon.
  • "Verizon is pleased to support Colonel Etue and the Michigan State Police as they educate Michigan's newest drivers about driving responsibly. This statewide program is part of Verizon's tangible commitment to addressing an incredibly important safety issue," said Jeffrey Nelson, Verizon Vice President of Global Communications.
  • "With all of the technology and gadgets available to drivers today, there is an epidemic of distracted driving on our roads," said Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director, Michigan State Police. "Teens, with their inexperience behind the wheel, are particularly at risk. We appreciate the support of Verizon to partner with us to share this important safety message with Michigan high school students."
  • "Distracted driving is an issue with potentially devastating consequences that impacts everyone, particularly high school students," said Dr. Steve Matthews, Superintendent of Novi Community School System. "As a district, we support the efforts of Verizon and the Michigan State Police to bring attention to this issue. More importantly we applaud these efforts to find ways to help our students and all drivers understand the impact of distracted driving and to make better choices."
  • "As a world pioneer in the automotive industry, it's critical that Michigan also leads in safe driving practices," said Senate Majority Floor Leader Kowall. "As Chair of the Michigan Legislative Auto Caucus, I am extremely proud to participate in the launch of this important educational program on distracted driving from Verizon and the Michigan State Police."
Verizon and the Michigan State Police developed this outreach program to educate high school students, one of the most highly susceptible groups to distracted driving. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, one quarter of teenagers respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens admit they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. Additionally, in a recent American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety study, it was found that distractions played a role in 58 percent of the 1,700 car crashes examined, with 12 percent of those distractions involving cell phone usage.

SOURCE Verizon
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