May 27, 2014
/ by Kimberly Cooper
What: Twenty years ago, the idea of pulling out your cell phone to look for directions or check a dinner reservation was just a dream. Now, phones are used for more than just talking. They can be used to text, look up directions, play games and more. Of course, with a new surge in technology come new dangers and frustrations. Keep courtesy and safety in mind this July during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.
Background: Founded in 2002, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month is meant to encourage people to be respectful of their surroundings when on the phone. Cell phone courtesy doesn’t just mean silencing your phone in a crowded theater. It encompasses a wide range of actions, such as turning your phone off in the car to ensure the safety of others and keeping it on mute when on public transit.
Story Pitch: A number of groups and organizations can pitch around National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Local police stations can remind drivers of the cell phone laws in their area. They may emphasize the dangers of texting while driving. In addition, cell phone providers may want to note the importance of being safe as well as polite while using the phone. They can also use this event to promote features like Bluetooth ear pieces and other hands-free devices for mobile talking.
Car dealerships can also advertise the latest vehicle models with Bluetooth capabilities.
Story Hook: According to Distraction.gov, a quarter of driving teens respond to a text message one or more times every time they drive. Ten percent of parents admit that they have extended conversations while driving.How can cell phone users be more courteous and safe in their daily lives when using their phones? Consider the following when you make your pitch:
Tips: A police officer who is familiar with cell phone laws would be a great resource for safe driving. In addition, a teen who doesn’t have a cell phone can speak to the importance of being disconnected from time to time.
Federal Communications Commission (888) 225-5322 www.fcc.gov
Governors Highway Safety Association (202) 789-0942 headquarters(at)ghsa.org www.ghsa.org
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (202) 366-9550 www.nhtsa.gov
National Safety Council (800) 621-7615 info(at)nsc.org www.nsc.org
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