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Will social media shaming stop distracted drivers?

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A US safety agency is using Twitter to try to shame distracted drivers.

Local group questions whether shaming is effective in deterring distracted drives.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Lots of people take to social media to try to embarrass someone who is displaying inappropriate behaviour.

Now, a US safety agency is using Twitter to try to shame distracted drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is even using names of drivers as it re-Tweets their comments about how well they can text and drive.

Karen Bowman, with the BC organization Drop it and Drive, doubts it will work.

“I’m not sure if shaming somebody from doing something they already know they shouldn’t be doing is going to change their behaviour. It might give them more attention than they deserve,” she says.

“People get deeply offended if they’re behaviour is called out. There tends to be a lot of defensive reactions, like ‘Don’t call me out on my behaviour’ and ‘Who do you think you are?'”

But she thinks it’s a great tactic to raise awareness.

So, what will stop distracted driving?

Bowman believes it will be a combination of legislation, enforcement and education. She’s looking forward to new policies the province has promised to combat distracted driving.

She says ultimately distracted driving should have the same negative social stigma as drunk driving.