U.S. DOT and Allied Government Agencies Campaign to Stop Distracted Driving
Distracted driving killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000 others in the United States and Puerto Rico area last 2014. To this end, the country’s Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is calling on all drivers to put down their smartphones when driving and help keep everyone on the road safe.
To promote road safety, the US Department of Transportation coordinated with its allied agencies to launch the national Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Playing active roles in the campaign are the National Highway Traffic Safety Board (NHTSA) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB.) Law enforcement agencies on the federal, state, and local levels will be pulling out all the stops to raise people’s awareness on the pitfalls of distracted driving and the grave, even fatal, consequences. The aim is to persuade everyone to change their driving behaviors and save lives.
The awareness drive starts with “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.,” a one-week publicity campaign with traffic violation warnings using tri-media and online ads. Drivers using their cell phones while driving will be flagged down and issued citations per state law. NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind says,”Lives are at stake on our highways. NHTSA wants to drive behavior change, stop bad habits, and encourage safe driving.”
The American Automobile Association Foundation conducted a study in 2014 based on existing habits rather than on police reports and found that instances of distracted driving are actually underreported. A Fort Worth accident injury attorney who has handled cases involving distracted driving knows that a traffic ticket is nothing compared to the serious injuries and loss of life caused by inattentive drivers.
As cell phone use becomes more and more an integral part of daily living, the importance of an awareness campaign against distracted driving cannot be overemphasized. Yet, it is a very avoidable incident. That is why education, added with law enforcement, plays a significant role in solving this growing concern.