TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas has launched a campaign against texting while driving that includes a contest for university fans.

The Kansas Department of Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer announced the campaign on Monday, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2cH3QyE ). The campaign’s message, Don’t Text #Just Drive, is being promoted through a contest.

The campaign will focus on getting 40,000 to 50,000 Kansas residents to sign a #ItCanWait pledge indicating they won’t text and drive. The pledges include the opportunity for people to show which of the six Kansas Regents universities they support.

“There’s been a lot of talk about distracted driving and texting while driving,” Selzer said. “What’s different about this program is it’s a contest that actually will be fun to participate in.”

Universities are planning various programs to encourage students, faculty and alumni to pledge. According to Selzer, a simulator that demonstrates how difficult it is to text and drive will be sent to the universities.

Selzer says there’s been a long-term decline in accidents with fatalities until about a year ago, when numbers started to spike.

According to an observational study by the Kansas Safety Traffic Resource Office, distracted driving increased from 9 percent to 10 percent in 2016.

Sgt. Todd Stallbaumer said the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office supports any program to bring more attention to distracted driving issues.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com