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Interactive PSA reminds of danger in texting, driving

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Jun 10th, 2014 @ 2:01pm

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HONG KONG — A public service announcement released by Volkswagen has gone viral by simulating the dangers of texting and driving.

The interactive PSA was filmed at the MCL Cinema in Hong Kong and was released June 6. Hidden cameras showed a group of moviegoers enter a viewing room in the theater. The "movie" that played was a driving simulation and when a text message was sent to several of the patrons' cellphones, the car crashed after they reached to answer their phone.

A message displayed on the screen sent the message loud and clear: "Mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel. A reminder to keep your eyes on the road."

While the PSA is shocking and drastic, it has resonated with people around the world. As of Tuesday morning, the YouTube video had over 4.7 million views.

While not wearing seat belts is the leading cause of death in accident fatalities in Utah, Zero Fatalities reported that 12 people in Utah died in 2013 as a result of distracted driving. Cellphones are involved in 1.6 million automobile accidents each year nationwide that cause 500,000 injuries and 6,000 fatalities, according to the United States Department of Transportation.

To help decrease distracted driving accidents and fatalities, a new law went into effect May 14 restricting drivers from texting, surfing the Web, taking pictures or video, dialing phone numbers or typing on a GPS while the vehicle is in motion. The offenses can be cited by an officer.

The first day the law went into effect, 159 drivers were issued warnings and an additional nine were given citations by the Utah Highway Patrol.

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