Media release: The Rome Police Department and law enforcement agencies throughout the state are working together to make the roads safer. One part of that effort is to continue to seek voluntary compliance through public information and education. The goal is to change motorist behaviors and save lives, not just during a national mobilization period, but year-round.
Distracted driving is absolutely avoidable but it continues to be a serious problem among drivers. Too many lives are lost every year due to distracted driving. We believe that through continued education and enforcement, the number of deaths and injuries can be reduced
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 71 percent of young people admit to sending a text while driving. Furthermore, 10 percent of all drivers’ ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal collisions were reported as distracted at the time of the collisions. The NHTSA reports that 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers. That is a noticeable increase as compared to the previous year.
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to change attitudes and behaviors about distracted driving. Just as it took a change in the driving culture through education and enforcement to reach a 93 percent seat belt compliance rate in Rome, it will also take a multifaceted approach to reduce distracted driving.
According to a study conducted by NHTSA and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, distracted driving is “anything that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary tasks of navigating a vehicle and responding to critical events.” A distraction can be: visual – something that takes your eyes off the road; cognitive – something that takes your mind off of the road; or manual – something that takes your hands off the steering wheel.
The Rome Police Department will join other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to conduct education and zero tolerance enforcement efforts to discourage distracted driving. Officers will enforce cell phone and texting laws as well as other Vehicle Code violations. Help us make the road safer by putting your phone down and keeping your eyes on the road.