A text messaging ban is now in place nationwide for commercial bus and truck drivers and should help reduce the risk of a serious or fatal North Carolina tractor-trailer accident caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During remarks at the second-annual Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C., U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also said a loophole that did not apply the law to in-state truckers hauling hazardous materials has been closed and that the law will also apply to train operators.
Additionally, the government is working with employers to create and promote anti-distracted driving policies. And a pilot program in Connecticut and New York — dubbed “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” has proven to significantly improve compliance with the law in cities that have instituted cell phone bans for drivers.
“We are taking action on a number of fronts to address the epidemic of distracted driving in America,” said LaHood. “With the help of the experts, policymakers, and safety advocates we’ve assembled here, we are going to do everything we can to put an end to distracted driving and save lives.”
So far, 1,600 U.S. companies have enrolled 10.5 million workers through Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), a public-private partnership aimed at reducing the risk of distracted driving in the workplace. Another 550 organization plan to adopt policies in the next 12 months that will cover an additional 1.5 million workers.
“I am thrilled that businesses across the country are making anti-distracted driving policies an integral part of their employee culture,” said LaHood. “President Obama led by example last year by banning four million federal workers from texting behind the wheel. Employers across America are doing the same to help us set an example and keep our roads safe.”
Nationwide, an estimated 6,000 motorists were killed and 500,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. Only speeding and drunk driving are blamed for more deaths on the road.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Representing accidents victims in South and North Carolina, including Winston-Salem, Thomasville and Shelby.