On a highway, truckers see it the most because of their high vantage point. At red lights everybody sees it.

All the drivers whose eyes are on their small screens instead of their big windshields. The texters.

According to zebra.com, 14% of all fatal accidents are because of a cell phone. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in a car crash than those who don’t.

Well, I’m in Vermont as I write this. I’m away moving my son into his college dorm. On the way here driving through New York State I saw something that I think couldn’t hurt New Jersey to try.

It’s a very simple thing, but a thing that might drive home a point that could eventually change people’s mindsets on the matter. I was coming upon a rest area and I saw this sign.

Picture taken by Jeff Deminski
Picture taken by Jeff Deminski

The addition of the words TEXT STOP above the rest area sign is a way to get across without a beaten-over-the-head scolding that maybe this is something better done parked. And look. The parking is right there.

We always know there’s going to be another rest stop ahead, too. So there’s always going to be another chance to stop. It’s a small sign that serves as a reminder of how this ought to be done and makes it clear that yes, in fact, it is possible to wait until you’re parked.

Picture taken by Jeff Deminski
Picture taken by Jeff Deminski

Another sign I saw along the New York Throughway was one reminding drivers they could get their license suspended for being caught three times texting while driving. Some time ago they increased the points on your license from 3 to 5, so if you accumulate three tickets in 18 months that would trigger a suspension.

Jersey’s law is written in a way that even though you still only get three points on your license for texting while driving, there’s still a legal possibility of a 90-day license suspension on the third time.

If we adopted this signage practice of adding TEXT STOP to all our rest area signs it might just change some behavior. It certainly can't hurt.

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[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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