TxDOT looking to limit the number of distracted drivers - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

TxDOT looking to limit the number of distracted drivers

WACO, TX (KXXV) - Nearly 500 people in Texas were killed by distracted drivers in the past year. The number of those accidents are inching higher and higher, now TxDOT is looking to do something about it.

TxDOT has launched their "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign this month to urge drivers to put away their cell phones and electronics when behind the wheel. In 2013, the number of crashes involving distracted driving was up 4% from the year before. 459 people were killed in the 94,943 accidents last year.

"Taking your eyes off the road for four seconds at 55 miles an hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed," TxDOT Spokesman Ken Roberts said.

Sarah Boydstun was affected by a distracted driving accident in October 2013. When the father of her child, Joseph Cardoza Jr. was hit by a distracted driver.

"I want to know what text message was being sent or delivered at the moment Joseph was killed. What was so important that you had to read or to say that ended up taking an innocent person's life," Boydstun said.

The 24-year-old Cardoza was trying to cross the street near Highway 36 in Moffat, when the driver drove off the road and crashed into him. Cardoza was killed on impact, and the driver begged for forgiveness.

"He said sorry I am on my phone. I am 21, I don't need this," Boydstun said.

Cardoza's death has had a lasting impact on Sarah and her autistic daughter, Gracie. Now, she encourages everyone to pay attention behind the wheel, for their safety and others like Joseph.

"It's not worth it. It is not worth hurting yourself, hurting someone else and much less taking someone's life," Boydstun said.

TxDOT officials say distractions aren't just limited to texting, but other habits as well including eating, grooming and even adjusting the radio.
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