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Public shaming used to cut down on texting and driving

It's not every day a government agency gets positive media attention. It appears the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is having a very good day.

More on the NHTSA

This government agency is responsible for helping to better ensure the nation's roadways are safe and aims to reduce deaths and injuries connected to motor vehicle crashes. It achieves this goal in a number of ways, including research and public awareness campaigns. One such campaign is responsible for the agency's current fifteen minutes of fame.

NHTSA publicly shames distracted drivers with humorous but stern Tweets

The agency recently took to Twitter to respond to users who openly admitted to texting while driving. The responses are scheduled to continue through the end of April as part of Distracted Driving Awareness month.

Fortune was one of many media outlets discussing the approach in a recent article. The publication included a few examples, noting the responses were effective for two main reasons. First, each response is individually crafted instead of autogenerated. Second, the comments are generally received as a good balance of humor and stern reprimand. For example, one user posted that "[s]eeing old people text and drive makes me not feel bad about doing it." To which the agency responded "[w]ith age doesn't always come wisdom" further calling the user to "[b]e your own example, put the phone down, and #justdrive."

Funny Tweets for a serious issue

Although the campaign is entertaining, it also addresses a serious problem. Texting and driving continues to be the most dangerous activity a driver can partake in, second only to drunk driving. The National Safety Council reports that texting and driving is responsible for 1,600,000 accidents every year.

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