Taking Action: Montgomery County, PA declares April 9-15, 2012 Distracted Driving Awareness Week

All of us here at The Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD are thrilled that commissioners in Montgomery County, PA passed a resolution declaring next week Distracted Driving Awareness Week (April 9-15th). This is exciting news to all of the hardworking advocates who have made changing the way we drive here in Pennsylvania a priority. Just a few weeks ago, the state of PA made texting illegal, a move that has made all Pennsylvanians come face-to-face with their behind the wheel behavior.

Of course, we all know that texting is just one of the many distractions drivers succumb to. Which, is exactly the message EndDD and its partner 60 for Safety is trying to send during this month’s Student Awareness Initiative—a nationwide campaign created in support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Today’s news bolsters our efforts, and those of other like-minded organizations working to improve safety on the road for drivers of all ages. In our increasingly chaotic world, we have been programmed to multitask. So much so, that for many of us, the thought of going for even just ten miles without being able to “reach out and touch someone,” creates high anxiety. Nothing however, creates more worry, than hearing a loved one has been in an automobile accident and being faced with the possibility that either driver wasn’t paying attention.

The Feldman family along with their friends and supporters thank Montgomery County for putting distracted driving in the spotlight, and taking time out of their day—and week—to acknowledge the need for this initiative. The resolution is posted below:

WHEREAS, The Montgomery County Commissioners have the highest priority for the safety and well-being of everyone on our roads, including  drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians; and,

WHEREAS, According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there were approximately 3,092 deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries  as the result of crashes involving distracted drivers in 2010; and,

WHEREAS, Distracted Driving is not confined to a single cause, age  group, level of education, or driver demographic, and is recognized as a serious threat to the health and safety of the citizens of Montgomery County, PA; and,

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 314 was adopted in  October 2011 and bans reading, writing, or sending a text message while  driving, and the amendment making it a primary offense punishable by  fine was an initiative introduced by Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Josh Shapiro, during his time in the PA State House; and,

WHEREAS, Many of us routinely take chances while  driving, multitasking by using cell phones and other electronic  devices, eating, reaching for objects, changing music, and other  activities that take our eyes and minds off driving; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, We, the Commissioners of Montgomery County, do hereby proclaim April 8-April 14, 2012* as DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS WEEK IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY and ask all county residents to examine their driving and promise to  protect themselves and others on the roads by reducing their distracted driving habits. *We note the discrepancy

Joshua D. Shapiro, Chair • Leslie S. Richards, Vice Chair • Bruce L. Castor, Commissioner