DOT, OSHA announce partnership to fight distracted driving

The Department of Transportation will partner with OSHA to combat cell phone use and texting while driving, DOT announced Tuesday during its 2010 Distracted Driving Summit. The partnership will involve an education campaign for employers during "Drive Safely Work Week" in October, alliances with the National Safety Council and other organizations, outreach to young workers, and investigation and issuance of citations or penalties when necessary.

DOT officials also announced:

  • New anti-distracted driving regulation for commercial motor vehicle drivers who transport hazardous materials.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that nearly 1,600 U.S. employers have adopted distracted driving policies to date. An additional 550 have committed to adopting policies within the next 12 months.
  • Preliminary results from pilot enforcement campaigns in Hartford, CT, and Syracuse, NY, show enforcement efforts dramatically reduced cell phone use while driving. Hartford police issued 4,956 tickets and Syracuse police issued 4,446 violations to drivers talking or texting on cell phones during a two-week campaign. NHTSA estimated handheld cell phone use dropped 56 percent in Hartford and 38 percent in Syracuse.

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