Crumpled Jeep drives home message texting can wait.
Crumpled Jeep drives home message texting can wait.

Archived Story

Don’t text while driving

Published 4:24pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Figuring a “picture” might be worth a thousand words, Ed Kazlauskas parked the remains of a Jeep Compass between his body shop and busy M-51 South.

Three red words attached to the windshield say it all: Texting can wait.

Kazlauskas operates Jim D’s at 56265 M-51 South and has watched the public’s reaction with interest for the past month.

“A lot of people pull in and give me ‘attaboys.’ A lot of people come in and take pictures to send to their grandkids. People were pulling in to look before I could get the sign on it,” he said Tuesday.

Kazlauskas obtained the wreck from an insurance company.

The driver wasn’t a teenager, but a man in his late 30s who crashed in the Niles area driving home after work.

Fortunately, he wasn’t killed, but spent three weeks hospitalized.

So what motivated Kazlauskas’ message?

“I get behind people texting and driving and not doing a very good job of it,” he said. “I wanted to open some young eyes — and older eyes, too.”

Plus, it’s prom season, with Dowagiac’s coming up April 27.

An online poll on Leader Publications’ website asked whether the new teenage cell phone ban should be extended to all drivers, to which 89 percent say yes and 11 percent say no from 114 voters.

Dowagiac Daily News

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