On Wednesday, U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood marked the effective date of President Obama's Executive Order on distracted driving, which will prohibit more than four million federal employees from texting behind the wheel while working or while using government vehicles and communications devices.
Sec. LaHood also unveiled a new national television PSA and Website, www.distraction.gov/, this week to get the word out on the dangers of distracted driving.
"Every time we climb into the driver's seat, we all have a responsibility for keeping our roads safe by putting away cell phones and other distractions," said Sec. LaHood. "I am proud that the federal government is leading by example, and encourage others to think about how they can set a safety example in their communities whether it's through employee policies, safety awareness campaigns, or just making sure your teen driver knows the risks."
On Oct. 1, 2009, following a national two-day summit on distracted driving, President Obama signed Executive Order 13513, "Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving," directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles; when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or while driving privately owned vehicles when they're on official government business.
The order also encourages federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job.
Following the fall summit, Sec. LaHood directed all 58,000 USDOT employees to comply immediately with the President's Executive Order.