TWIT Spotting: Texting-and-Driving Vigilante Exposes Distracted Bay Area Drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Brian Singer snaps the pictures and puts them online. He’s even put them on a few Bay Area billboards. Scott Budman reports. (Published Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014)

    Meet the Bay Area man on a mission to embarrass drivers who text.

    As part of his high-tech campaign to get drivers off their phones, a Silicon Valley graphic designer named Brian Singer has been snapping photos of people he sees texting behind the wheel.

    “I was blown away by the number of people texting while driving,” Singer said.

    Singer snaps the pictures and puts them online. He’s even put them on a few Bay Area billboards.

    Experts say texting – or even checking texts – while driving is the equivalent of closing your eyes for a stretch of five seconds.

    Singer said he noticed a lot of texting while he commuted to work, so he started the website TWITspotting.com. TWIT stands for “Texting While in Traffic.”

    He said he does it because he wants everybody to stop texting.

    “Everyone has that moment where you're distracted, eating a hamburger, picking something up off the floor,” Singer said. “But when I started really looking, it really blew my mind."

    Singer, who insists he only takes pictures while he’s in the passenger seat, hopes the attention the photos are getting causes people to think twice before taking their eyes off the road.

    So far, the website and billboards have been paid for by Singer himself. He says he would like to expand the program with backing from a larger organization.