U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Issues ‘Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving,’ Announces $2.4 Million for California, Delaware Pilot Projects

On June 7, 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a press release presenting U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s plan, titled “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving,” that provides the department’s strategy on how to address the risks presented by cellphone use while driving. The document provides drivers with specific steps on how to decrease the dangers presented by distracted driving. When presenting the plan, Secretary LaHood also stated that the government would be providing federal support in the amount of $2.4 million to California and Delaware to support a pilot enforcement campaign aimed at decreasing distracted driving.

The plan presented in the “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” includes numerous steps that may decrease the risks posed by distracted driving:

Education: The plan aims to implement new educational materials intended to teach new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Research has shown that drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to send and receive emails or text messages than older motorists.

Legislation: The plan suggests that the eleven states that have not already implemented distracted driving laws should draft and enforce this type of legislation.

Technology: The plan encourages the auto industry to implement new technological guidelines to reduce the distraction risks posed by devices in vehicles.

The government-funded pilot programs that will be implemented in California and Delaware will study whether increased law enforcement presence and highly-publicized education campaigns can help reduce distracted driving in these states. These programs are set to begin in the fall of 2012. Following similar pilot programs implemented in Syracuse, New York and Hartford, Connecticut in 2011, these communities saw a 32 percent drop in texting while driving in Syracuse and a 72 percent drop in texting while driving in Hartford.

See the full U.S. Department of Transportation press release at:

http://www.distraction.gov/content/press-release/2012/06-7.html