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Hilarious PSA Teaches Youth How To Confront Distracted Drivers

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 31/03/2016 Jesselyn Cook
TEXTING © NZ Transport Agency/YouTube TEXTING

The next time a friend tries to use their phone while driving, make them feel so uncomfortable they'll never even think about doing it again. That's the lesson a viral PSA from New Zealand's Transport Agency is trying to teach. 

The hilarious 45-second video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since the government agency posted it to YouTube on Sunday as part of its new campaign to prevent distracted driving-related accidents. 

The ad features a series of young drivers whose phones light up on the dashboard with new messages as a cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello" plays in the background. 

As soon as each driver takes a hand off of the steering wheel to reach for the phone, their quick-thinking passenger grabs their hand and flashes them a creepy smile. With horrified expressions, the drivers slowly return their hands to the wheel and eyes to the road. Pretty clever, right?

Texting and calling from behind the wheel is against the law in New Zealand, but distracted driving caused 21 fatal crashes, 170 crashes with serious injuries and 1,133 crashes with minor injuries in the country in 2013. 

Ten percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. were linked to distracted driving that year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Cultural change [about distracted driving] will only occur when people start publicly stating that they have an issue with it," NZTA explains on its campaign site. "This hasn’t really started happening yet."

The agency regularly uses humor to connect with its young target audience. In February, it posted another hysterical video with a serious message: Don't drive under the influence.

It stars two young men, both presumably high on drugs, sitting in a car thinking a string of idiotic thoughts to themselves without paying attention to the road.

"OK, it's an action movie set in the future. Where it's illegal to be awesome," the driver ponders while brainstorming film plotlines. "And everyone awesome lives underground," he decides, as someone behind him honks. Moments later, their car slams into oncoming traffic.

"Hard to stay focused?" the PSA asks. "Drive straight."

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