June 15th, 2010
UDOT’s not distractedUncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.
A new report shows that Utah is among states that are increasing efforts to stop distracted driving
Today the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released the first comprehensive study showing how states are enacting laws, developing public education programs and tracking accidents in order to halt distracted driving.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), in partnership with other agencies, has been fighting distracted driving using a variety of efforts, many of which are mentioned in the report.
“The furor over distracted driving as we know it came about with the availability and widespread use of cell phones in America. Ten years ago, if you were behind someone on the road who had trouble staying in their lane or swerving, you assumed they were driving drunk. Today, many people assume they are driving distracted,” states the report.
UDOT has collaborated with many agencies to fight distracted driving. Some of UDOT’s partners in the effort include the Utah Department of Public Safety, Utah Department of Health, local law enforcement, Utah Safety Council, AAA of Utah, Penna Powers Brian Haynes and others. Some key Utah efforts mentioned in the report:
- Distracted driving has been included in Utah’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan since 2007
- Utah has collected data on the number of crashes involving distraction of any kind as a contributing factor since 2002
- Traditional media (television and print) and Social media (Twitter and Facebook) are used by UDOT to educate the public about distracted driving
- Educational efforts directed at teens, who are most likely to drive distracted, has been developed and presented in Utah schools
Additionally, the Utah Legislature recently enacted a law banning texting for all drivers.
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