Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 30th, 2009 at 8:54 am
As promised back in August, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off the Distracted Driving Summit this morning in Washington D.C.
The event, which a DOT press release says is, “Leading the call for a cultural shift in how Americans view safe driving” is being webcast live from the DOT website today and tomorrow.
The focus on of the summit will be on the use of mobile devices and texting while driving. Back in July, the NY Times published a series of articles made possible by a whistle-blower from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration who admitted that the agency withheld warnings about the dangers of distracted driving for political reasons.
The Distracted Driving Summit is being hosted by the federal Research and Innovative Technology Administration, an agency that recently selected former Portland State University professor Rob Bertini to be its Deputy Administrator.
Another Oregon connection to the summit is State Senator Bruce Starr. Interestingly, Starr voted against a bill (HB 2377) that narrowly passed last session which prohibits the use of mobile devices (with exceptions) while driving. Starr is on a panel tomorrow morning titled: Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement of Distracted Driving. (See full summit agenda here)
The DOT has taken some very admirable steps in harnessing the web to enable folks to get involved with this event. There are live chats, webcasts, and even opportunities to ask questions of panelists via your computer. Learn more about how to participate on the event website.
The DOT also posted this distracted driving PSA from Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission: