Harrison County Pilot Program to Donate Hands-Free Devices - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Harrison County Pilot Program to Donate Hands-Free Devices

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CLARKSBURG -

In July it was officially made a primary offense to talk on your cell phone while driving.

If an officer sees you doing it they can pull you over.

Different organizations in Harrison County have teamed up to spread the word about using hands-free devices and how it can save lives.

"If this would save your life, someone is texting or talking and they were coming at you and instead of hitting you, they had their hands free device how would that feel? It would feel super, because you would still be here," said Doug Gray, a Nationwide Insurance Agent in Clarksburg.

Gray said while driving one day he had an idea to help cut down on those accidents.

"If they are driving in a car on their telephone if they're stopped it's a primary offense now. We came up with an idea that if they are stopped, and they can't afford it, let's give them a free hands-free device," Gray explained.

Gray teamed up with the Governor's Highway Safety Program, local law enforcement agencies, AT&T and Walmart to raise money to purchase those hands free devices.

AT&T and Walmart have both already donated devices to the program.

Gray said they hope to raise $100,000 to buy 10,000 units.

He said they will purchase the units anywhere that has them, not just AT&T or Walmart.

Officers will carry the devices with them, and if they pull someone over for using a cell phone they will give them a citation, and a free device.

"If we can get enough devices I would like to put at least two with each one of the officers," said Chief Deputy Steve Johnson, with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

On Thursday, Harrison County Commission and the Prosecuting Attorney's office donated 50 devices a piece to the pilot program.

Georgia Hatfield, with the Governor's Highway Safety Program, said that they hope doing this will help promote the use of hands-free devices.

"We think that once the person that's cited pays their fine and uses the hands free device in the future that they will spread the words to their friends and family. It's a public service campaign," said Hatfield.

All law enforcement agencies in Harrison County will be involved including the State Police, Sheriff's Department, and city level agencies.