Bluffton Police, city partner for campaign to combat distracted driving

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 6:44 PM EDT
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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - All eyes are on the road on this rainy Tuesday, but police want you to always stay focused.

In fact, the Bluffton Police Department days all you need is 43 seconds. The City of Bluffton and Bluffton Police partnered together on the campaign. Tuesday, they gave out lanyards to remind you to do the 43-second safe driving checklist when you get into your car. It comes with four steps: clear your head, clear your hands, clear your eyes, and make sure you buckle your seat belt.

“The reason I do this is many - I honor my son - but more so, I don’t want any other parents in my shoes,” said Mike Lutzenkirchen, Lutzie 43 Foundation.

Mike Lutzenkirchen started the 43 Key Seconds Campaign after his son Phillip, a University of Auburn star football player, died in a car crash in 2014. He visited Bluffton Tuesday to speak with leaders and the community about his campaign.

“The majority of accidents, and when I say majority - 60 percent or somewhere higher - it is that high here in Bluffton, there is an accident to distracted driving in nearly all of these accidents. If we can bring some awareness to that, lower those percentages, we’ve accomplished something,” said Chief Chris Chapmond, Bluffton PD.

Community leaders also spoke at the press conference about how they are trying to educate people to just take 43 seconds to focus on themselves before hitting the road.

“It takes 32 seconds on average to program your smart phone using your smart phone GPS,” Chief Chapmond said. “It takes 42 seconds to use your on board GPS in your car, so when you think about it, 43 seconds really isn’t that long.”

“I have my lanyard hanging in my car. Every time I get in, I’m reminded to just take those 43 seconds. Just clear your mind, make sure all your passengers are buckled. I personally drive around my little sister all the time, so I can never imagine something happening to her just because of my poor mistakes and decisions," said Grey Anne Cummings, Bluffton High School student.

Click here for more information about the campaign.

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