ODOT Director targets Texting While Driving with Safety Summit
State Agencies and Businesses discuss Dangers of Distracted Driving
COLUMBUS - In what she hopes is the first of several statewide “transportation conversations” targeting texting while driving, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris will host a mini-safety summit tomorrow targeting the dangers of distracted driving.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety linking crashes to cell phone records, drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a crash while using a cell phone.
For this first-of-its kind mini-summit, Director Molitoris will lead a conversation with representatives from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, the Ohio AAA Auto Club, as well as industry representatives from Verizon, Nationwide Insurance, and the National Safety Council.
WHAT: ODOT Texting While Driving Safety Summit
WHEN: Friday, September 25 - 9:00am
WHERE: ODOT Central Office 1980 W. Broad Street Room GA Columbus, Ohio 43223
ODOT’s mini-summit will set the stage for a national summit by the US Department of Transportation next week, which will further explore the ways to prevent texting while driving.
“I hope our summit here in Columbus and the larger national event in Washington will help to lead a change in our nation’s cultural norms, so people come to view text messaging while driving as unsafe and socially unacceptable,” said Director Molitoris.
An ODOT analysis of crash data in 2009 shows that 21 people were killed in accidents on Ohio roadways where distracted driving was the cited cause. The department’s safety experts admit, however, that proving whether distractions such as cell phones are the causes of a crash is difficult unless law enforcement or eyewitnesses have proof.
For more information, contact Nancy Burton, ODOT Communications, at (614) 728-8915
or your local ODOT District Communications Office.