In an effort to make our roads safer, the Richmond Police Department announced today that they have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to stop distracted driving. The Richmond police have pledged their support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
“We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Lieutenant Bisa French. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”
In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.
The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.
Richmond will begin an aggressive enforcement campaign on July 1, 2012. The campaign will last throughout the month of July to promote education and awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
“Every driver in Richmond has a role in this effort,” said Lt. French. “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”
Richmond’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”
For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov. This email is a distribution of The Richmond Police Department Business E-mail Alert System. For more information or to subscribe for these email updates, contact Mandy Swirsding, Administrative Intern Crime Prevention, Richmond Police Department.