DOT launches new distracted driving video campaign

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Updated Nov 19, 2010

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday, Nov. 16, launched “Faces of Distracted Driving” at www.distraction.gov/faces, an online video series exploring the consequences of texting and cellphone use while driving. The series features people from across the country who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. DOT is encouraging others who would like to share their experiences with distracted driving to post videos on YouTube and e-mail the links to faces@distraction.gov.

“These videos are dramatic evidence that the lives lost to America’s distracted driving epidemic aren’t statistics – they’re children, parents, neighbors and friends,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These people have courageously come forward to share their personal tragedies in order to warn others against making the dangerous decision to talk or text behind the wheel.”

“Faces of Distracted Driving” is part of LaHood’s effort to raise public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to support victims. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. In January, LaHood joined anti-distracted driving advocate Jennifer Smith to announce the creation of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending distracted driving.

DOT’s campaign against distracted driving is a multimodal effort that includes commercial vehicles, automobiles, trains and planes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regulation banning text messaging while operating a commercial motor vehicle in September. A rulemaking proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in September would expand the texting ban to certain drivers carrying hazardous materials that are not covered by the FMCSA regulation.