Identifying strategies for developing and enforcing legislation to curb use of mobile devices while driving

The Foundation's program, Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health, was designed to build the evidence for public health law and policy, translate research findings into practical tools to increase the support for and use of law by policy makers and public health practitioners, and to translate findings to other fields and venues to improve and protect health.This study will identify effective legal strategies for improving implementation and enforcement of distracted driving legislation to reduce fatal and non-fatal automobile crashes. Up to 28 percent of crash risk is attributable to driver distraction from mobile devices, and there are now more mobile phones than people in the US. Distracted driving is increasing despite the passage of state laws regulating mobile phone and text messaging in vehicles. For this study, tailored behavior change strategies will be directed at county law enforcement and prosecution, in partnership with county public health, with an emphasis on identifying sustainable strategies. The project emphasizes finding a sustainable model which can be replicated in other states. Deliverables include: a training session at judicial conference, a health law database on distraction citations and outcomes for intervention counties, news stories, editorials, a webinar, a legislative report, articles in peer-reviewed journals, a media campaign, social marketing, and conference presentations.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $428,818.00

Awarded on: 11/21/2012

Time frame: 11/15/2012 - 11/14/2014

Grant Number: 70506


University of Washington, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center

325 Ninth Avenue
Box 359960
Seattle, 98104-2420


Beth E. Ebel
Project Director