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Texting Drivers Publicly Shamed on San Francisco Billboards


An artist in California is calling attention to bad driving habits in a big way, posting pictures of real motorists engaging in distracted driving on billboards all over San Francisco.

Since February, Brian Singer has posted 23 pictures to his blog Texting While In Traffic (TWIT) of distracted drivers with their eyes off the road. Most are guilty of phone fondling, but a recent photo on the site shows a woman curling her eyebrows while behind the wheel.

Singer started the blog when he when he noticed many of his fellow commuters texting while driving on busy San Francisco roadways from the passenger seat in a carpool. At first, he posted the images to his website and Facebook page a few times a week. Now, he has paid for eleven billboards featuring the photos along his commute in the Bay Area. Even though the photos feature the drivers' faces, Singer says the blog and billboards aren't about shaming drivers.

"It's not about shaming, because we're all guilty of distracted driving, whether a phone call or eating a cheeseburger while driving. I'm trying to draw awareness to drivers actions" Singer said. "I can't imagine dialing a phone number from a touch screen while driving down a highway. It scares the daylights out of me. My hope is that people will see these billboards and become more aware of their actions while driving."

The pictures are either taken by himself or fans of his website from the passenger seat on freeways. The billboards will line the 101 Highway in and around the city until late April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Singer has yet to hear any feedback from the drivers featured on the site, but he has heard from those affected by distracted driving.

"Everyone has a story. I get messages from all over the country about people who were injured by distracted drivers" Singer said.

Hopefully the stunt will work. Distracted driving continues to be a major problem on the nation's roadways despite public outreach, PSAs and laws. A recent survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found 69 percent of drivers had used a cell phone while behind the wheel and 24 percent said they texted while driving in the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that during daylight hours an average of 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone while driving in the U.S.

Though bans on texting while driving are in place in 39 states, they're difficult to enforce. A USA Today survey showed the bans resulted in few tickets. In some states less than one per day was being issued. California issues thousands of distracted driving tickets each year, but fines for violating the laws can be as low as $20 for a first offense.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 291 Comments
      lmann37014
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am not a fan of texting in or out of the car, but maybe you do-gooders out there should move to China where everything can be policed!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lmann37014
        Nothing else works. I'm fed up with drivers almost running me off the road or almost hitting me, because they are too immaturely self-centered to behave as responsible drivers. That includes both talking and texting on a cell phone. I got to the point I will not let someone into heavy traffic if I see them using a cell phone. In the state I reside, they made texting and driving statewide illegal for teenagers, who can lose their licenses for texting and driving. But didn't include, in the same, adults behaving worse than then children cell phone texting and driving. Finally, cities began enacting what the state would not, including minority and majority aged people under the same local law. If it takes shaming people into being responsible drivers, then so be it. Those type of laws actually did work on deadbeat parents being shamed with their faces on wanted posters for failure to support their offspring as ordered by family courts.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wait til the drivers sue the "artist" for using their picture without consent for an advertising campaign.
      bader95
      • 1 Year Ago
      Texting has become a major part of a lot of peoples lives and we might as well get used to it. For one reason or another, wether it be that they just don't believe that it's a problem or that it won't happen to them, or wether it's just too high of a priority in their lives, people are going to text while driving. Making it illegal simply means if you are caught you could get fined, but again I feel most people don't believe they will get caught, and most definetly the odds are in their favor. There are technological ways of eliminating using cell phones from within a vehicle, but not for reading a book or shaving or putting on mascara. It all falls back on the driver, and a high percentage of us just don't care. When all is said and done after all, it is all about ME.
      Richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wait till the new Google Glasses are sold in mass. Driving will be even more hazardous and Insurance rates will be even higher. This I have to be connected society is ruining lives.
      chmdeeringconst
      • 1 Year Ago
      every state should do it
      tropicalriderceo
      • 1 Year Ago
      curling her eyebrows?
      Tim
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would sue CBS if my picture showed up on any of their billboards for failure to get a release signature from me to use my picture for advertisement!
        Serian
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim
        Here here! Good for you on that Tim.
        Shootrcurt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim
        another sue happy American...why cant people make money the old fashion way...WORK!
        dal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim
        there is no profit from showing these photos just knowledge for the general public to beware of shown idiots. so you can not sue anymore than a wanted criminal or pediphile who is posted in a public forum.
          onemadashell
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dal
          since they can not prove by the photo that the driver was texting they should not post them and say they were. defamation of character come to mind. how do we know that they were not answering the phone.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim
        Here comes a texter-driver. Shame.
      pbjclv
      • 1 Year Ago
      There should be a TV show about this stupid behavior. When investigatiog a crash, you'll notice i didn't say accident, the first thing the police should check is the telephones. It they were on the phone, cite them. I drive to work everyday and see some idiot on the phone, lost in conversation. Unless it is life or deat serious, GET OFF THE DAMN PHONE!!!
        ponyhoney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pbjclv
        If they cause an accident because they were texting, they should go to jail for murder.
          onemadashell
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ponyhoney
          only if they killed someone otherwise that would be false charges and false imprisonment.
      mphseason
      • 1 Year Ago
      There should be a law....if I take a picture of you texting, when you aren't parked, you get fined $75.....I get $25....the county gets $50...get caught it 3 times in 6 months...suspended for 30 days.....and your insurance company gets notified.....get caught 4 times....loss for a year...and communtiy service picking up trash along roads vests saying "Text and messaging...you could be here".....too many people dying in vehicle crashes due to dumb people whom can't pull over and do one task at a time...imo
        sk3navy1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mphseason
        mpheason, ok big sister.
        siosamh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mphseason
        Someone who's caught 4 times should have his license lifted permanently. He's just too stupid and irresponsible to ever drive again.
      lflz28
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very interesting, in a world where everything is rush, rush, rush we chose to use such a slow way to comunicate ????
        mykecusa@netscap
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lflz28
        Actually it saves times because we don't have to hold the phone to our ear and listen to the bozo on the other end. By texting we are in complete control and the conversation is one way ... our way, or the highway is our motto.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see police here in FL. texting while driving so how are you supposed to stop drivers from texting when the Sherriffs dept is doing it while driving? They really set a good example here.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Taking and publishing a picture of anyone without their consent may get you in trouble.
        mykecusa@netscap
        • 1 Year Ago
        If in the public domain and the person just happened to be in the scene then perhaps not a problem.
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