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'Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other' Campaign Coming to California and Delaware

PhoneonehandLast week, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a "Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving," its latest salvo in an ongoing battle against "the growing and dangerous practice of using handheld cell phones behind the wheel." Among other things, the department authorized $2.4 million in federal support for California and Delaware in order to expand the department's "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other" pilot enforcement campaign.

"Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other." That's good stuff -- I like it!!

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explained that the Blueprint:

  • Encourages the remaining 11 states without distracted driving laws to enact and enforce this critical legislation.
  • Challenges the auto industry to adopt new and future guidelines for technology to reduce the potential for distraction on devices built or brought into vehicles; and
  • Partners with driver education professionals to incorporate new curriculum materials to educate novice drivers of driver distraction and its consequences. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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.

In California and Delaware, the "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other" initiative will test the effect of increased law enforcement and high-profile public education campaign on distracted driving, trying to duplicate the success of what the 'Click It or Ticket' campaign did to promote the use of seatbelts. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland says that 'Click It or Ticket’ successfully changed unsafe driving behavior, and the funds earmarked for California and Delaware will follow that formula to address the problem of distracted driving. Smaller-scale demonstration projects completed in 2011 in Hartford, Conn., and Syracuse, N.Y., helped drop texting while driving by 72 percent in Hartford and 32 percent in Syracuse.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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