Distracted Driving Laws: Upcoming Public Health Law Webinar

Oct 14, 2011, 4:24 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

How serious is the death and injury rate from distracted driving? The latest data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2009, nearly 5,500 fatalities and another half million injuries resulted from crashes involving a distracted driver – 16 percent of total traffic fatalities for that year. As a result, a growing number of states are enacting laws that limit driving and the use of mobile communications devices.

Distracted driving laws vary in a number of ways including the types of devices, categories of drivers and punishments for breaking the laws. To help public health law officials understand the issues, the Public Health Law Research Program, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program at Temple University, will be hosting a webinar on distracted driving laws on October 20, 2011 from 1-2 pm (ET). Registration closes on October 18, at 1 pm (ET). Co-hosts for the Public Health Law Webinar Series include the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics; Public Health Law Association and the Public Health Law Network.

In an effort to keep attention on the critical issue, NHTSA earlier this summer launched a video series called “Faces of Distracted Driving.” The most recent video tells the story of a five year old, Xzavier Davis-Bilbo, who was killed by a young woman who was texting while driving.

>>Read more on public health law here.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.