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8/3/2011 - Stronger enforcement curbs distracted driving

Police enforcement improves distracted driving rates.

More states and municipalities are cracking down on distracted drivers, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, heightened enforcement appears to be working.

The NHTSA says that based on two pilot projects measuring the effectiveness of aggressive law enforcement when it comes to distracted driving, fewer people text and use cell phones when behind the wheel.

For instance, the source states law enforcement officers in Syracuse, New York, found that high-visibility enforcement cut texting and cell phone use by one-third. And in Hartford, Connecticut, anti-distracted driving campaigns led to a 75 percent drop in texting while driving.

"The success of these pilot programs clearly show that combining strong laws with strong enforcement can bring about a sea of change in public attitudes and behavior," said David Strickland, administrator for the NHTSA. "We applaud the work of the men and women of the Syracuse and Hartford police forces, and call on state legislatures, law enforcement and safety advocates across the nation to follow their lead."

Penalties for distracted driving may vary from state to state, and similarly, the difference in premium that violators may pay will also vary among carriers and each person's driving record.

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