In July 2008, California passed a law prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving and in January 2009 a ban on texting while driving was passed. According to the OTS Statewide Intercept Opinion Survey, 61.2 percent of Californians stated that texting and talking are the biggest safety concerns on California roadways. OTS and CHP co-lead the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Distracted Driving Challenge Area by developing action items to reduce this problem. Countermeasures include increased and focused enforcement, observational surveys, and public awareness campaigns, while other actions are being developed to change behavior.
DISTRACTED DRIVING PROGRAM AREA GOALS
- Reduce fatal collisions involving drivers using handheld cell phones
- To reduce injury collisions involving drivers using handheld cell phones
2017 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTSInterventions To Reduce Distracted Driving
The Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at UC San Diego implemented two distracted driving interventions: “Just Drive – Take Action Against Distraction” targeted the general public; and “Distraction Overload – Risk Reduction for First Responders” focused on law enforcement officers. The ‘Just Drive’ curriculum reached over 2,200 persons and ‘Distraction Overload’ was delivered to over 4,100 uniformed patrol officers. In addition, TREDS delivered a train-the-trainer program to 301 officers from the California Highway Patrol for each of the interventions. Evaluations of both programs were positive, resulting in improved knowledge among participants and motivation to change behavior. In addition, a curriculum addressing distracted and drowsy driving among commercial drivers was developed.
Adult Distracted Drivers
The CHP conducted a statewide enforcement and education campaign designed to bring distracted driving behaviors to the attention of the motoring public and to reduce the number of traffic collisions in which distracted driving was an associated factor. This campaign included traffic safety presentations to help educate the public on the different types of distractions, the dangers of distracted driving, and included proactive measures to avoid distracted driving. A total of 730 traffic safety presentations were conducted, reaching 67,397 people.