DOT launches campaign against distracted driving
Everyone knows itês unsafe and, in most states, illegal to text and drive. Yet many drivers do it, especially young drivers. Now the U.S. Department of Transportation is out to do something about that. Highway safety experts know from the seat belt and drunk driving campaigns that education alone isnêt enough. So the new campaign against distracted driving will include a law enforcement component.
Radio, TV and digital ads using the phrase U Drive, U Text, U Pay will run from April 7 to April 15. The $8.5 million advertising campaign supports the high-visibility enforcement crackdown, which will run from April 10 to April 15. Thousands of law enforcement personnel will use traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive. The national campaign builds on the success of two federally funded distracted driving state programs in California and Delaware, Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other.
National campaigns like Click It or Ticketê and local efforts like Phone in one Hand, Ticket in the Other,ê show that combining good laws with effective enforcement and strong public education campaigns can change unsafe driving behaviors, said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman.
DC, Maryland and Virginia are among the 47 states and jurisdictions that ban text messaging for drivers of all ages. Starting last year in Maryland and Virginia, it is a primary offense. That means the driver can be pulled over for that violation alone.
NHTSA estimates that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 injured in distraction-related crashes in 2012.Download Bulletin PDF