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Distracted Driving Legislative Stakeholder Meeting December 5, 2014 Washington Traffic Safety Commission 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Distracted Driving Legislative Stakeholder Meeting December 5, 2014 Washington Traffic Safety Commission 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distracted Driving Legislative Stakeholder Meeting December 5, 2014 Washington Traffic Safety Commission 1

2 WTSC Background Commission Target Zero Strategic Plan Funding ◦ Mostly federal  Gas tax dollars for behavioral change efforts  New Federal Transportation Authorization (every 6 years or so) MAP-21 2

3 MAP ‐ 21 Implementation Distracted Driving 3

4 Distracted Driving Law 23 CFR 1200.24 Law Requirements: State must enact and enforce a texting law and a youth cell phone use law. Texting law must prohibit texting through a personal wireless communications device while driving. Youth cell phone use law must – ◦ Prohibit youth cell phone use through a personal wireless communications device while driving; ◦ Require distracted driving issues to be tested on driver’s license examination. 4

5 MAP ‐ 21 Definitions Texting means “reading from or manually entering data into a personal wireless communications device, including doing so for the purpose of SMS texting, e ‐ mailing, instant messaging, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication” Driving means “operating a motor vehicle on a public road, including operation while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign, or otherwise…” 5

6 Texting & Youth Cell Phone Must Make a violation a primary offense; Specify a minimum fine of $25 for a first violation; Provide increased fine for repeat violations within 5 years. 6

7 Only the Following Exceptions: Contacting emergency services; Emergency services personnel in performance of official duties; FMCSA regulations (CMV driver and school bus driver). 7

8 Sample Non ‐ Qualifying Texting Law No person shall use a handheld mobile telephone for texting while operating a moving motor vehicle on any public road. Definitions: ◦ “Texting” means to read, write or send a text ‐ based communication to any person, commonly referred to as text message, instant message or email. ◦ “Mobile telephone” means a telephone that operates without a physical, wireline connection to the provider’s equipment. 8

9 UW MEDICINE │ INJURY CONTROL DISTRACTED DRIVING Beth Ebel, MD, MSc, MPH Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital King County Prosecutor’s Office Public Health - Seattle and King County December 4, 2014

10 Distracted driving video DISTRACTION IN ACTION 10


12 Distracted driving behaviors are hard to change Drivers support legislation restricting texting and mobile phone use; however they continue to use these devices, irrespective of laws and injury risk Compulsive, automated behavior (O’Connor, Ebel 2013) High visibility enforcement needed to change behavior; history of success (seat belts, impaired driving) DISTRACTED DRIVING Dr. Ivan Pavlov 12

13 Goal: Improve implementation and enforcement of distracted driving laws Aims: 1.Measure distracted driving in Washington State 2.Measure citations for distracted driving 3.Identify factors promoting effective enforcement of distracted driving laws 4.Share study findings with decision-makers DISTRACTED DRIVING STUDY 13

14 Design: 7900 drivers observed at controlled intersections in 6 large counties Results: Nearly 1 in 10 drivers (9.5%) were using cell phones or texting behind the wheel Nearly half of distracted drivers were texting or manipulating a wireless communication device DISTRACTED DRIVING STUDY 14



17 CountyCitations for Distracted Driving 2010-2012 (per 1000 licensed drivers) Observed Distracted Driving 2013 (% of drivers at controlled intersections) Cell phone citations Texting citations Snohomish18.00.764.3 King County8.30.429.0 Yakima8.00.208.6 Spokane7.70.2914.5 Whatcom7.50.3312.5 Pierce6.20.615.4 DISTRACTED DRIVING CITATIONS AND OBSERVED BEHAVIOR, 6 COUNTIES 17

18 Participants 27 law enforcement officers in 3 counties Key findings 1.Distracted driving is impaired driving 2.Tickets more effective than warnings 3.Update state distracted driving laws Cover all handheld phone practices Clarify risk at intersections while driving Close loopholes (“just dialing”) Increase penalties for repeat offenders 4.Adopt best-practice policies to limit distracted driving in police departments LISTENING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT 18

19 PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE CHANGES Senate Bill 6227 proposed in 2014 All handheld distraction covered Remove “phone to ear” provision No exclusion for stop signs/stop lights Increasing penalty for second offense SB 6227 brings law into compliance with federal standards New opportunities for federal funds (portion of $17.5 million) 19

20 1. Strengthen public health efforts to support effective enforcement of distracted driving laws through education, social marketing, and outreach to law enforcement partners 2. Support ongoing measurement of distracted driving 3. Consider resolution to update Washington Distracted driving laws 4. Adopt policies and consequences to limit distracted driving in the performance of county work DISTRACTED DRIVING: OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH 20


22 Cell/Texting High Visibility Enforcement Campaigns April 2014 – U Text. U Drive. U Pay. April 1-15, 2015 Locally Coordinated HVE throughout the year Annual Grant Process January 2015 for 2015/16 funding WTSC DISTRACTED DRIVING PROGRAM 22

23 State Farm Grants to high schools Sam Thompson’s Story WTSC DISTRACTED DRIVING PROGRAM 23

24 Law Enforcement Challenges Video 24

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