Distracted Driving Awareness Month : U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
Over the past several years, we have made remarkable progress raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, both as a department and as a country. In 2009, when DOT took up this issue, only 18 states had anti-texting laws. Today, 43 states have banned texting while driving.
But we have more work to do. We are still losing more than 3,000 lives per year –and hundreds of thousands are injured– because of crashes caused by distraction.
That’s why, today – as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching its first-ever national, high-visibility enforcement campaign to crackdown on texting while driving.
The message is simple: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
From April 10 to April 15, our friends in law enforcement from states all over America will be out in force, pulling over people who are texting while driving, and writing tickets.
And to spread our message, we are releasing strong new ads, created by NHTSA, that will remind people that texting while driving is dangerous –and can be deadly– and that there will be consequences if you do it.
To see or share the ad in Spanish, please visit NHTSA on YouTube
At DOT, we’ve come to understand that this combination of public awareness, strong laws, and tough law enforcement can help change dangerous driving habits. In fact, we’re confident this combination will work to reduce distracted driving because it already has.
Today, we’re also releasing the data from pilot programs we funded in California and Delaware. This data tells us that, at sites where effective advertising was paired with high-visibility police enforcement of distraction laws, hand-held cell phone use dropped by a third.
At DOT, there’s no issue we take more seriously than safety. But we can’t ensure it on our own. That’s up to all of us.
So, if you’re a driver, make putting your electronic devices out of reach every time you’re behind the wheel a reflex just like buckling up. If you’re a parent, talk to your children about responsible driving. And if you're a passenger, speak up if you see a family member or friend using hand-held electronic devices while driving.
Please join DOT, NHTSA, and law enforcement officers across the country; help us make sure every American knows: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
If you want to help share this important safety message, the new ad and other materials can be found at www.distraction.gov. And if you're active on social media, please remind your followers to #justdrive.