August 19, 2009

DOT sets dates for Distracted Driving Summit

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced Tuesday that it will hold its summit to determine the best ways to reduce the number of crashes and deaths due to distracted driving on Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1.

"Safety is our number one priority," said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. "As we become a more mobile and wireless nation, we can't afford to ignore new technology's impact on roadway safety."

The distracted driving summit will bring together senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives, private sector representatives and academics to address a range of issues related to reducing accidents through enforcement, public awareness and education.

Authoritative speakers from around the nation will lead interactive sessions on a number of key topics, including the extent and impact of distracted driving, current research, regulations and best practices.

Participants will also examine distractions caused by current and planned automotive devices, such as navigational systems. The summit’s second day will include a panel of state and local officials to discuss solutions from their perspectives.

“This summit will not only bring leaders in transportation safety together to talk about this issue,” said LaHood, “it will also give people from all over the country — and world — the opportunity to be a part of this historic dialogue.”

To accommodate the strong response, the summit will be available live by Webcast, and members of the public will be given the opportunity to submit questions online for each individual panel discussion. The U.S. DOT has also created a Website to provide information and updates on the summit at: http://www.rita.dot.gov/distracted_driving_summit/ .

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