August 4, 2009

Sec. LaHood announces distracted driving summit

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a September summit in Washington, D.C., which will include senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics, to address the dangers of text-messaging and other distractions behind the wheel.

"If it were up to me, I would ban drivers from texting, but unfortunately, laws aren't always enough," said Sec. LaHood. "We've learned from past safety awareness campaigns that it takes a coordinated strategy combining education and enforcement to get results. That's why this meeting with experienced officials, experts and law enforcement will be such a crucial first step in our efforts to put an end to distracted driving."

A number of deadly accidents involving text messaging behind the wheel have called attention to the dangerous problem of distracted driving. Last year, a commuter train crash in California involving an operator who was texting on a cell phone killed 25 people and injured 135 others. In another incident, a Florida truck driver admitted to texting moments before a collision with a school bus that killed a student.

For information and updates on next month's summit, visit: www.rita.dot.gov/distracted_driving_summit/.

 METRO TV: Watch an interview with Secretary LaHood on the topic of distracted driving.

 

 

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