Bus

NHTSA: Enforcement deters distracted driving

Posted on July 12, 2011

Increased law enforcement coupled with high-profile public education campaigns resulted in dramatic reductions in distracted driving during pilot programs held in Syracuse, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) researchers.

Each program, which was supported by $200,000 in federal funds and $100,000 from the state, examined whether increased police enforcement along with paid advertising and news media coverage could reduce distracted driving. The pilot efforts used "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other" as the media campaign theme and were structured similarly to the highly-successful national seat belt campaign, "Click It or Ticket."

During four periods of stepped up enforcement over the past year, Syracuse police issued 9,587 citations for driver violations involving talking or texting on cell phones while operating a vehicle. During the same period, police in Hartford, Conn., issued 9,658 tickets for illegal phone use.
Before and after each enforcement wave, NHTSA actively observed cell phone use and conducted public awareness surveys at driver licensing offices in the two cities, which found:

  • In Syracuse, N.Y., because of high-visibility enforcement, both handheld cell phone use and texting behind the wheel have declined by one-third.
  • In Hartford, Conn., where researchers initially identified drivers talking on their cell phones at twice the frequency (which left more room for improvement), there was a 57 percent drop in handheld use and texting behind the wheel dropped by nearly three-quarters.


"The success of these pilot programs clearly show that combining strong laws with strong enforcement can bring about a sea change in public attitudes and behavior," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "We applaud the work of the men and women of the Syracuse and Hartford police forces, and call on state legislatures, law enforcement and safety advocates across the nation to follow their lead."

NHTSA plans to test this same three-part formula — tough laws, strong enforcement, and ongoing public awareness — at the state-wide level next.

In 2009, nearly 5,500 fatalities and another half million injuries resulted from crashes involving a distracted driver. Overall, distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2009.

Nationwide, 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have enacted texting bans. Nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have prohibited all hand-held cell phone use while driving.

Click here to see the NHTSA report on the enforcement programs in Syracuse and Hartford.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Chinese company unveils 'Transit Elevated Bus'

The bus is supported by two legs that run along rails laid along the roadside. The legs allow the buses frame to glide high above the gridlock at speeds of up to approximately 37 miles per hour.

Last Chance for Innovative Solutions Award submissions

Have you recently partnered with a solutions provider within the last year to implement a new innovation at your operation that has helped you save money, run more efficiently, streamline operations, improved customer satisfaction or increased ridership? Tell us what you did and how it has positively impacted your business.

NY MTA introduces the first of more than 2,000 state-of-the-art buses

After more than three decades of bearing more than a passing resemblance to refrigerators on wheels, the appearance of North America’s largest transit bus fleet is undergoing a stunning transformation

NY MTA rolls out first of 75 state-of-the-art New Flyer buses

In March, Gov. Cuomo announced the addition of 2,042 buses, equipped with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports, to the MTA fleet over the next five years, replacing 40% of the current fleet.

Dallas' DART takes top spot at APTA's International Bus Roadeo

The Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close