NHTSA Starts Ad Campaign on Distracted Driving

The $8.5 million national advertising campaign supports the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement crackdown, which will run April 10-15.

To kick off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx  announced the DOT's first national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. TV, radio and digital advertisements using the phrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. will run April 7-15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans.

"This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seat belt use," Foxx said. "Across the country, we're putting distracted drivers on notice: If you're caught texting while driving, the message you receive won't be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement -- U Drive. U Text. U Pay."

David Friedman, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, joined Foxx for the announcement of the $8.5 million national advertising campaign.

NHTSA estimates 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in 2012. The new ads remind the public of these deadly consequences, as well as the penalties for getting caught violating the state distracted driving laws. The campaign will run in English and Spanish.

The ads support the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement (HVE) crackdown, which will run April 10-15.

"National campaigns like Click It or Ticket and local efforts like Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. show that combining good laws with effective enforcement and strong public education campaigns can and do change unsafe driving behaviors," said Friedman. "We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to urge drivers to put down electronic devices and focus on the task of driving."

Currently, 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers, while 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit drivers of all ages from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

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