National campaign launched against distracted driving
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A new national nonprofit organization, patterned after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, will work to curb distracted driving, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.
Mr. LaHood and Janet Froetscher, president of the National Safety Council, scheduled a news conference this afternoon to unveil the organization, called FocusDriven. It will be led by a woman whose mother was killed in a 2008 crash caused by someone talking on a cell phone.
The organization will lobby for tougher laws to curb distracted driving, provide information and resources about the problem and extend support services to victims and their families. Its Website is at www.focusdriven.org
Mr. LaHood said FocusDriven is an outgrowth of the September national Distracted Driving Summit in Washington. "I first met several of the founding members of FocusDriven at our Distracted Driving Summit, and I'm deeply impressed by their commitment to turn these tragic events into positive actions that will help save lives," he said. "Their stories are not just heartbreaking; they're also a clear and compelling call to action."
"It is my hope that FocusDriven will serve as a valuable resource for those who have lost loved ones as a result of the senseless and preventable destructive practice of distracted driving," said Jennifer Smith, the group's president.
The Transportation Department recently launched a federal Website, www.distraction.gov, with comprehensive information on distracted driving. "Just as groups like MADD changed attitudes about drunk driving, I believe FocusDriven can help raise awareness and change the way people think about distracted driving. Together, I hope we can put an end to this dangerous practice," Mr. LaHood said.
First Published January 12, 2010 1:10 pm