The month of April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, where public officials work to increase awareness of the dangers of driving. And while driving laws are regulated at the state level, the Federal government has taken steps to promote safe driving practices across the country and minimize cases of distracted driving.
“U Drive. U Text. U Pay” is the slogan for the Distracted Driving Awareness campaign in 2020. While seemingly tragic, the slogan is designed to draw attention to the dangers of driving while talking or texting on the phone.
Local law enforcement officials have taken on the task of educating the public and enforcing state laws pertaining to driving and cell phone usage. To date, 47 states within the U.S. have enacted laws to ban phone texting, while 16 states have gone so far as to completely ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Because of the high incidence of accidents and fatalities affecting younger drivers, many states ban new teen drivers from talking or texting during their first year on the road.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month is intended to encourage drivers to turn their cell phones off while driving and educating others on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. People are also encouraged to report incidents where drivers violate state laws on the road.
A number of different agencies are involved with the campaigns that take place during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The US Department of Transportation is certainly one of the most active during the month of April, as their secretary Elaine Chao has long been an outspoken leader against distractions.
In 2019, Distracted Driving Awareness Month was kicked off with a national summit that took place in Washington D.C. near the beginning of the campaign. Ray LaHood was one of the primary speakers of the event, which also included words from other major agency leaders, members of the National Transportation Safety Board as well as celebrities such as singer Jordin Sparks and race car driver Andy Pilgrim.
Following the kick-off, the summit that takes place in Washington D.C. the awareness month includes a string of campaigns and rallies set throughout the country. One of the major aspects of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is the many speaking engagements which take place in schools across the country, seeing as informing young drivers of the danger is one of the primary strategies in the long fight to minimize distracted driving