On Tuesday September 21, 2010 the U.S. Department of Transportation convened a summit to discuss the problem of distracted driving. Pennsylvania does not currently have a state anti-distracted driving law. However, thirty other states and the District of Columbia do have anti-distracted driving laws.
Laws May be Part of the Solution
Several tools to combat the dangers of distracted driving were suggested on the first day of the summit by the Obama administration officials who attended the summit. They indicated that tough laws and enforcement of those laws will be necessary to effectively prevent accident injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving. Additionally, officials suggested other measures such as putting warning messages on cell phones that remind people not to use cell phones while driving. Safety advocates also proposed campaigns similar to the effective anti-drunk driving campaigns that started in the 1980s and helped to reduce distracted driving deaths.
Already Successful Measures Were Highlighted During the Summit
Summit leaders cited successful examples of companies that have banned texting and driving including the federal ban on government employees not allowed to text and drive. In addition, the superior police enforcement of existing laws in Hartford, CT and Syracuse, NY have proven to be successful.
Last year, approximately 5,500 people died in distracted driving accidents in the United States.