NHTSA Secretary Ray LaHood announced the launching of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The group will be led by Jennifer Smith, who has been an outspoken advocate against distracted driving since her mother was killed by someone talking on his cell phone while driving in 2008.
FocusDriven is a direct outgrowth of the September 2009 national Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC called by Secretary LaHood. Since the two-day meeting that brought together affected families, law enforcement, researchers, public officials and others, family members of distracted driving victims have worked to establish an advocacy organization with support from the Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit organization that uses leadership, research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and save lives. FocusDriven’s new website, www.focusdriven.org, hosts information on distracted driving, help for victims and family members, and ways to get involved.
Exactly one year ago today, the National Safety Council became the first organization to call for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher spoke at the Department of Transportation’s national Distracted Driving Summit last fall and has committed NSC’s resources to helping establish FocusDriven.
I have previously written about the changes in traffic laws that have come about in the past year to curb distracted drivers. Texting, in Chicago has not been allowed the past few years, actually became illegal for the state of Illinois on January 1. The federal government appears to be keeping pace with states and is clearly doing its’ part to decrease distracted driving.
Click here to read the entire press release.