The Textalyzer? New efforts aim to curb texting by drivers

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Although most states ban texting by drivers, the problem appears to be getting worse—and road fatalities are on the rise. To change people’s behavior, lawmakers and public health experts are devising new strategies, some of which mimic strategies to combat drunk driving that began nearly three decades ago.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is developing a new plan based on the effective designated-driver campaign that it orchestrated in the late 1980s, which was promoted by Hollywood, the media, politicians, sports leagues, and corporations. Jay Winsten, associate dean and director of the Center for Health Communication at Harvard Chan School, said in an April 27, 2016 New York Times article that the new campaign won’t focus on scolding drivers for multitasking; rather, it will urge them to be more attentive, and will encourage parents to set a good example for their children.