The Southampton Fire Department wants drivers to put down their phones, heed the law, and stop texting while behind the wheel.
Chief Dennis Roy said his department is launching a bumper sticker campaign with a message to motorists: "Your friends at the Southampton Fire Department want you to stop texting while driving."
"I go to a lot of accidents and it's obvious what people were doing," Roy said.
As he drives around Southampton Village he said he often sees drivers taking their eyes of the road, to glance down at their phones to either read or send a text.
"Some statistics say it's worse than drinking and driving," he said.
Roy said the idea for the bumper sticker campaign came about after an accident on County Road 39 in Southampton this summer that killed a 29-year-old mother of two. Police said Carissa Castillo was using her phone — though not for texting or talking — when she crossed into the opposite lane and hit a Hampton Jitney bus.
The accident, he said, affected many people, including his daughter who wondered what she could do to get people to stop getting distracted by their phone while they are driving. She suggested trying to get people to pledge never to text and drive, which led to the bumper stickers.
The department had 2,500 made up, which they will hand out to school children in packets during fire prevention training. Throughout the month, fire officials go into the elementary schools to speak to students.
What they have left over firefighters will hand out the Open House on Nov. 2 at the Windmill Lane firehouse.
"If it's a big hit, we'll get more printed up," Roy said.
If anyone wants a bumper sticker, call the Hampton Road firehouse at 631-283-0072.
Would you put one of these bumper stickers on your car? Tell us in the comments below.