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DOT, Regal, and Outcast Launch “OMG” Video to Deter Distracted Driving

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Tell his mom you only looked down for a secondThe Regal Entertainment Group and Outcasts’s PumpTop TV have joined forces with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to deter young drivers from distracted driving by showcasing two new public service announcement videos.

As Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood writes on his blog, Fast Lane, the DOT has partnered with these two companies to bring the message to young drivers via video Pubic Service Announcements (PSAs) like one called “OMG.” “OMG” is one of two distracted driving awareness videos in the DOT’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign, which started this week and runs through December.

LaHood writes:

All this week, a version of the new ‘OMG’ ad geared towards teens will run exclusively on 6,589 movie screens in 526 cinemas owned and operated by Regal Entertainment Group across the country.  And throughout December, a different version will air on the 12,000 screens operated by Outcast’s PumpTop TV at high-traffic gas stations across the United States.

… And our campaign to end distracted driving is not just a seasonal message, but one that we want drivers to think about every time they get in their car. Younger drivers are a vital part of our efforts because they are the most effective at influencing their peers and developing an entire generation of drivers who know that one text or call could wreck it all.

When you’re in a movie theater, popcorn is a perfectly acceptable distraction to have in your hand.  And when you’re filling up your car, having a gas pump in your hand just makes sense.  But, when you’re behind the wheel, that cell phone or smartphone doesn’t belong anywhere near your hands, your eyes, or your thoughts. No call — no text — is worth the risk.

Erik Sass, writing for MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews, reports that, as tallied by NHTSA, of the 15.2% of all motor vehicle-related deaths in 2009, of those resulting from distraction, 18% involved cell phones. The new video spots are expected to reach 24 million drivers at gas pumps alone, Sass writes, according to gas station advertiser Outcast.

The DOT and NHTSA are running PSAs on TV, radio, and banner ads, as well as in outdoor advertising and on a new website designed to prevent distracted driving, A second PSA, “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks,” was created without charge by The Concept Farm in partnership with states’ attorneys general and the Ad Council, Sass reports.

A NHTSA press release published on says,

‘Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior, and tragically, teen drivers are the most at risk of being involved in a fatal distracted driving crash,’ said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. ‘That’s why we are thrilled to partner with the Regal Entertainment Group to reach the millions of teens that will visit their theaters this holiday season. Together, we can save lives by educating teens and their families about the dangers of driving while distracted.’

You can see one of the “OMG” videos here:

Image by U.S. Department of Transportation, used under Fair Use: Reporting.


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