Department of Transportation
For Immediate Release: April 3, 2014
STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REMINDS HAWAII DRIVERS NOT TO DRIVE DISTRACTED
HONOLULU – End distracted driving before it ends you. That’s the message the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) wants to share with Hawaii’s drivers. As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” HDOT, along with the four county police departments and community partners, is stepping up enforcement and educational efforts throughout the month of April to remind everyone that distracted driving is dangerous and potentially fatal.
Drivers who use handheld devices, such as cellular phones, music players, personal digital assistants and navigation devices, while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves or others. In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
To address this growing problem, HDOT is conducting a statewide media campaign. Television ads are focusing on the distracted driving behavior of texting, while radio public service announcements are discouraging listeners from driving distracted, especially while using an electronic mobile device. Community outreach efforts include educating students and asking local businesses and their employees to pledge to drive phone-free.
“We want to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destination,” HDOT Director Glenn Okimoto said. “Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task of driving is a hazard. When an activity, such as texting, combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive, the risks of getting into a crash are greatly increased.”
In an effort to keep the roads safer, the four county police departments will conduct high visibility enforcement of Hawaii’s distracted driving law, which bans the use of handheld electronic mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle. During Federal Fiscal Year 2013, Hawaii’s county police departments issued a total of 18,648 distracted driving citations statewide, which illustrates this serious problem on our roadways.
For more information on distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.