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Powerful don't text-and-drive PSA gets laughs before gut-punch

Commentary: South Africa's Western Cape government says you're incapable of texting and walking, so don't text and drive.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


And into the pond goes the texter.

Western Cape Government/YouTube

It's unlikely you'll stop people from doing it.

Which doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

All over the world, authorities and corporations such as AT&T have tried to stem the tide of texting while driving with ads and other PR efforts. 

Yet, in the US at least, highway deaths are rising, with distracted driving said to be involved in 16 percent of those deaths. 

AAA's research suggests that distraction latency -- the amount of time an impairment lingers after texting or doing some other device-related task -- can be up to 27 seconds.

The latest attempt to make people stop and think comes from South Africa's Western Cape government

Instead of attempting to employ pathos or extreme drama, the Western Cape PSA offers humor.

We think we're watching a bloopers show. 

People are walking and texting -- and then bumping into things and falling over. 

The music enhances the slapstick nature of the ad. 

In one case, a texting man walks straight into a pond. Why, people have even been known to walk and text themselves into a lake and off a cliff.

"You can't even text and walk," mocks the ad. 

It's aimed, by the look of what happens next, at the young. More AAA research suggests that teens are distracted 25 percent of the time when they drive.

As to what happens at the end of the ad, I'll leave it for you to see. Suffice to say, the logic is extended to people's ability to text drive.

Will it get through to teens -- or, indeed, to anyone? 

If it helps save just one life, it's worked. 

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