By Stephen Markley on January 13, 2010
Safety advocates and the U.S. Department of Transportation have joined forces to create a new campaign called FocusDriven, which will aim to educate drivers about the danger of talking on cell phones or texting while behind the wheel.
The organization is modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is partially credited for attaching a social stigma to getting behind the wheel after drinking. FocusDriven hopes to foster the same attitude toward distracted driving by raising awareness of its dangers.
With support from the DOT and the independent, nonprofit National Safety Council, FocusDriven has tapped Jennifer Smith as its leader. Smith has firsthand experience with the issue: In 2008, her mother was killed by a driver who was talking on his cell phone.
The government has been stepping up its efforts to combat distracted driving in recent months. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared on CBS’ “The Early Show” to announce the creation of FocusDriven and describe its goals. This follows the recent creation of the government website Distraction.gov, which provides the public with information and statistics on distracted driving.