LaHood issues ‘Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving’
- Provides all stakeholders with actions they can take that go beyond personal responsibility to helping end distracted driving nationwide.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show drivers under the age of 25 are two to three times more likely than older drivers to send text messages or emails while driving.
Applying a ‘Proven Formula’ to CA, DE Enforcement Programs
Coinciding with the release of the “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving,” Secretary LaHood announced that California and Delaware have been selected to receive federal support for pilot projects that will test the effect of increased law enforcement and high-profile public education campaigns on distracted driving. “We know from the success of national efforts like ‘Click It or Ticket’ that combining good laws with effective enforcement and a strong public education campaign can – and does – change unsafe driving behavior,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in a press release. “Now, along with two great state partners, we’re using this proven formula to help tackle distracted driving.”
DOT is providing California and Delaware with $2.4 million of federal support for pilot programs that will examine whether increased police enforcement coupled with paid media and news media coverage can significantly reduce distracted driving over a widespread area. The California program will take place in the Sacramento valley region comprising eight counties and 3.8 million residents, while the Delaware program will be conducted statewide. Both projects are expected to be under way in fall 2012.
The multi-market efforts in these states mirror the approach used in smaller-scale demonstration projects completed in 2011 in Hartford, CT, and Syracuse, NY. The 2011 pilot projects found dramatic declines in distracted driving in the two communities tested – with texting dropping 72 percent in Hartford and 32 percent in Syracuse. In 2010, at least 3,092 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes – accounting for nearly one in every 10 fatalities on the nation’s roadways.
Meanwhile, among the findings from NHTSA’s first nationally-representative telephone survey on driver distraction released earlier this year, more than three-quarters of drivers reported that they are willing to answer calls on all, most, or some trips.
Survey respondents acknowledged few driving situations when they would not use the phone or text, and yet reported feeling unsafe when riding in vehicles in which the driver is texting and supported bans on texting and cell phone use.
Almost all respondents (about 90 percent overall) reported that they considered a driver who was sending or reading text messages or e-mails as very unsafe. Nationwide, 39 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam ban texting behind the wheel.
MORE FROM eRoadPro Newsletter
- Sydney uses water curtains to alert drivers to stop (VIDEO)714 Views
- Rand Paul introduces bill to fund emergency transportation projects464 Views
- Big four cellphone companies jointly launch anti-texting campaign270 Views
- Acceptance of connected vehicles depends on cost, LaHood says261 Views
- Cities rethink transportation due to drop in young drivers246 Views