EUGENE, Ore. - New billboards around Eugene and Springfield display an important message for teens: Don't text and drive.
The project was thought up by local photographer and dad, Bruce Berg.
When Berg found out that texting and driving was a leading cause of death among teens, he wanted to do something about it.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 alone. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
"It is a problem," Berg said. "I think it's becoming more acute and problematic, not just among teens but around all of us. So I'm just trying to bring light to the issue and have us drive safer."
Berg designed five billboards and several Lane Transit District bus ads using photos of 27 local high school seniors who took a pledge not to text and drive.
"Seeing how a lot of teens have been texting and driving, it's not a good thing," said Samantha McCollough, a senior at Springfield High School. "So I wanted to put myself out there and help out others and let them know that's not a good thing to be doing."
Local businesses sponsored the billboards, including Dr. Sutter, Pape, Waddell & Reed, Nic Smith State Farm and Nation's Mini Mix.
The billboards will be up for another two weeks.
Berg plans to do the project again in the fall. Class of 2019 seniors can apply at seniorphotographs.com.