In Oklahoma City, Edmond, Nichols Hill and Guthrie, drivers always need to be aware that driving while distracted is dangerous. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes will help to help drive home the point to motorists that they should never operate a vehicle when they are not focused on the road.
A personal injury lawyer knows that Distracted Driving Awareness Month includes a public education campaign as well as a law enforcement campaign. However, there are concerns about a lack of funding that is necessary to actually make this awareness effort have an impact on motorists.
The majority of drivers are aware that it is dangerous to operate a vehicle while distracted. However, drivers keep texting or using electronics behind the wheel. The threat of a citation could help to change behavior, which is why it is so important for law enforcement officers to have the resources that they need to do their jobs.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month Educates Motorists But Could Suffer Due to Funding Issues
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a campaign called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This campaign is focused on ensuring people are aware of the consequences of texting and driving. State and local law enforcement officers will be “aggressively” ticketing drivers who are improperly using mobile devices according to the NHTSA.
There’s a problem, though. An article in Politico warns that the distracted driving awareness campaign is not likely to be effective if states do not receive extra money to actually enforce the laws and participate in the aggressive ticketing program.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) spoke out about the funding problems and the executive director of the group said: “Bottom line — we appreciate the awareness activities, but unless they are coupled with strong enforcement, they are all bark and no bite.”
In addition to the short-term funding issue specifically related to Distracted Driving Awareness month, concerns are also being expressed that the Grow America plan presented by the President does not adequately define the “prescriptive and narrow” definitions that are utilized by the federal government in determining if a state qualifies for funding for enforcement of distracted driving rules.
Distracted driving is a serious issue that needs to be addressed proactively through effective cooperation with federal and state governments. Ten percent of total deadly crashes in the United States involve distracted driving, along with 18 percent of crashes that cause injury and 16 percent of the cumulative total of all motor vehicle accidents. Distracted Driving Awareness Month is the perfect time not just for drivers to give sufficient consideration to distracted driving risks, but also for lawmakers to look closely at whether there is enough funding available to enforce distracted driving laws.