- George Colli Cox Washington News Bureau
Big Brother is watching ... and tweeting.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling out people on Twitter who boast about texting and driving, scolding them with replies.
The campaign comes during Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
It includes telling one Florida teen who videotaped herself on Snapchat while driving:
“Not smart. For Everyone’s sake (including your own) don’t snap and drive. Seriously, it’s not worth it. #JustDrive."
Another distracted driver responded, “Ya got me,” when @NHTSAgov tweeted:
“Does doing what you want include being a danger to yourself and other drivers. For everyone's sake - don't snap, #justdrive.”
In a statement, NHTSA director of communications Bryan Thomas said, "It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we're making sure people know about the dangers of driving while texting, snapping and swiping every way we can, short of sliding into their DMs. We want drivers to put down their phones and #justdrive."
AAA spokeswoman Tamra Johnson believes the government is smart to engage teens and young adults on social media.
“When you’re trying to reach young drivers, you have to meet them on the medium where they typically are,” said Johnson from outside her Washington, D.C. office. “These are young drivers that don't have a lot of experience behind the wheel and anything that takes their eyes off the road is going to be very dangerous.”
NHTSA says in 2014 there were more than 3,100 driving deaths due to distracted driving and more than 431,000 injuries. The agency's website says 73 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds admit to texting and driving.