Here’s something you should check out now, if you haven’t already. “From One Second to the Next” is a 35-minute public service announcement sponsored by AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, and directed by German filmmaker Werner Herzog (as in the internationally acclaimed and highly influential director of such films as Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Grizzly Man). It’s a thoroughly effective and artfully crafted PSA that examines the easily preventable death toll caused by texting while driving.
Screenings of the short documentary are being planned for over 40,000 high schools, as well as hundreds of government agencies and safety groups. “There’s a completely new culture out there,” Herzog told The Canadian Press. “I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.”
By some estimates, texting-while-driving causes thousands of deaths annually in the US, and states such as Connecticut and New York have passed new laws increasing fines and restrictions. Not too long ago, AT&T stopped lobbying against legislation aimed at cracking down on these types of driver distractions, and has since launched an awareness campaign. For instance, earlier this year, AT&T brought a street-driving simulator (aesthetically similar to what you’d find in a Chuck E. Cheese’s) to Capitol Hill to show a bipartisan gathering of lawmakers the dangers of texting behind the wheel.
But PSAs can only go so far. State penalties for texting while driving range from a $20 fine up to a maximum $10,000 fine and a year in jail. Check out which states have the toughest or weakest laws here.