OC #justifyit Campaign - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OC #justifyit Campaign

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Is that text you're sending from the drivers seat really that important? The Ocean City Firefighter's Union wants to know, and that's why they've teamed up with the International Association of Firefighters and launched the #justifyit campaign. The campaign asks drivers to justify their behavior behind the wheel.

"We've seen the car wrecks, we've seen the emotional effects that it has on family members from losing loved ones that have been involved in car wrecks, so we want to do everything we can to make sure that when you're behind the wheel you're being safe," said Whittington.

Researchers at the Cohen Children's Medical Center estimate that more than 3,000 teenagers die annually as a result of texting while driving, but teenagers aren't the only ones guilty. 47% of adults admit to texting while driving. It's a difficult habit to break.

Whittington offered advice to prevent yourself from being tempted to text and drive. He said you can silence your phone, put it in the glove box, or designate a friend to text for you.

"If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. Also let your friends know if you're in the middle of a conversation let them know you're about to get behind the wheel. We want folks to do everything they can to remember that they can put their phone aside, they can put it away, and it can save their life," said Whittington.

Driver John Protzman said if you need to send a text message you can always pull over.

"If it's that important you can pull of the road for a couple of minutes when it comes to life and all the risks you're taking it's not worth the risk," said Protzman.

Whittington said the social media campaign is unique because they're not telling drivers to stop texting, but asking them to justify their unsafe habits.

"Not only do you owe it to yourself to be responsible while you're driving, but you owe it to those around you as well to be responsible," said Whittington.

Whittington said the campaign will run through October.

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