This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commended Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for signing a strong new law that prohibits texting while driving.Under the new law, which takes effect in early March 2012, violators can be fined $50. The new law makesPennsylvaniathe 35th State along with theDistrict of ColumbiaandGuamthat have now banned text messaging by all drivers. Nine states, theDistrict of Columbiaand theVirgin Islandshave prohibited all hand-held cell phone use while driving.
In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. The U.S. DOT has launched a dedicated website, www.distraction.gov, to provide the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving.
The Department has also hosted two national summits devoted to the issue, crafted sample legislation which States can use to adopt distracted driving laws, and initiated pilot law enforcement programs inHartford,Conn., andSyracuse,N.Y., modeled after the Department’s successful efforts to increase seatbelt use and curb drunk driving.
This update was prepared by Susan L. Vaughn, Director of Public Policy, firstname.lastname@example.org. William A.B. Ditto, MSW, is Chair of the NASHIA Public Policy Committee. Rebeccah Wolfkiel is Governmental Relations Consultant, email@example.com.
The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators assists State government in promoting partnerships and building systems to meet the needs of individuals with brain injuries and their families.