CHARLESTON, W.Va.-DMV Commissioner Pat Reed wants to remind drivers in West Virginia to obey the distracted driving laws in the state to avoid the ticket and fine, and more importantly, to save lives and reduce crashes and injuries. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and law enforcement will be working with highway safety advocates across West Virginia to enforce distracted driving laws and educate the public to “Turn it Off. Put it Down. Just Drive”.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. These types of distractions include: Texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, and adjusting the radio,” among other things. However, “because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.”
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made distracted driving, specifically a ban on texting and hand-held cell phone use, a priority in the Legislature in 2012, initiating and supporting legislation that made texting while driving a primary enforcement offense and hand-held cell phone use a secondary enforcement offense. The following year, in 2013, hand-held cell phone use became primary enforcement as well.
Commissioner Reed, the Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety, said that funds from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will be used to promote the “Turn it Off. Put it Down. Just Drive” campaign with media and overtime enforcement all through the month of April.
For more information, please contact the Governor’s Highway Safety Program at 304-926-2509 or visit http://justdrivewv.com/.