City declares April ‘Distracted Driving Awareness Month’

A sign promoting St. George City's "Heads Up, Thumbs Up Day," graces the podium at a press conference held to promote distracted driving awareness at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – On Thursday, the City of St. George held a press conference at Desert Hills High School to declare April as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” and designate April 17, as “Heads Up, Thumbs Up Day.”

The designation comes in concert with the city’s massive efforts to raise awareness of distracted driving – especially among teens – and the recently passed legislation that strengthens the state’s distracted driving law.

St. George City Mayor Jon Pike signs a proclamation declaring April as "Distracted Driving Awareness Month," at a press conference at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
St. George City Mayor Jon Pike signs a proclamation declaring April as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” at a press conference at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

City Mayor Jon Pike read and signed the proclamation in front of local and state representatives, the press, and members of the high school’s student body.

Regarding distracted driving, Pike directly addressed the gathered students:

“You are going to have to make this work,” Pike said, “you are the generation who was born to text and to tweet, you are the digital natives, so if you can make this work so can we.”

As part of “Heads Up, Thumbs Up Day,” residents of the community are encouraged to paint their thumbnails orange to remind them to keep their hands off their cell phones and on the wheel while driving. They are also encouraged to take a pledge not to drive distracted.

Leslee Henson, a St. George resident whose husband was hit and killed in an accident that was alleged to be a distracted driving incident one year ago, addressed the crowd about the campaign and the state’s new distracted driving law.

Leslee Henson, a St. George resident whose husband was killed by a distracted driver a year ago, shows off her orange thumbnails promoting "Heads Up, Thumbs Up Day," at a press conference at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Leslee Henson, a St. George resident whose husband was killed in an accident alleged to be a distracted driving incident one year ago, shows off her orange thumbnails promoting “Heads Up, Thumbs Up Day,” at a press conference at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“This campaign is such a great thing to remind us all to keep our heads up, our eyes on the road, our thumbs up, our hands on the wheel,” Henson said.

Rep. Don Ipson, who presented the new bill to the House of Representatives spoke to those in attendance and explained the legislation.

“What this bill does is it prohibits us from manipulating the phone,” Ipson said.

Sen. Steve Urquhart who sponsored the bill was not in attendance.

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5 Comments

  • Dude April 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    #redthumbreminder

    http://Www.redthumbreminder.com

  • Maudie Fricker April 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Soooooo…does this mean I get a reward for turning in people who text and or chat on their phones while driving… or is it just another placebo for people like me who are sick to death of watching the person in front of me weaving in and out of the lane while texting…

    • JOSH DALTON April 4, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thank you Maudie! I hope you being my new hero is rewarding enough!

    • Kalyn August 11, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks for your thhgouts. It’s helped me a lot.

  • Concerned Citizen April 4, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    It’s not just texting while driving, it’s also people blatantly running stop signs and stop lights, failing to yield right of way to traffic in traffic circles, aggressive driving in areas of heavy traffic and the heavy footed me first attitude many exhibit by racing other cars to a turn lane or to get on the freeway first from an on ramp..

    Lets get some signage on the traffic circles like other states have.. YIELD TO TRAFFIC IN THE CIRCLE.. That’s the law and most people are ignorant of it and it needs to be enforced both with signs and ticketing..

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