DOT pilot projects: Power of focused efforts to combat distracted driving

United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on July 11 released the findings of two pilot projects measuring the effectiveness of tough laws, increased enforcement and highly visible public education campaigns on distracted driving.

The findings pointed to significant reductions in distracted driving behaviors as a result of these pilot projects.

“We applaud Secretary LaHood for his leadership on this important issue,” said Brian Boyden, State Farm executive vice president. “The DOT’s [Department of Transportation] efforts to reduce distracted driving behaviors are an important step forward in this fight.  The ultimate goal that everyone is working on is to reduce crashes.”

Syracuse, N.Y., and Hartford, Ct., received grants to study the effectiveness of a three-pronged approach to reduce distracted driving: tough laws, high-visibility enforcement and continuous public education.  Before-and-after observations and surveys showed significant declines in illegal cell phone use behind the wheel.

State Farm has long been a proponent of a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of distracted driving and its threat to the lives and safety of millions of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.