Resolution on Distracted Driving

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Whereas, 80% of drivers rate distracted drivi ng as a very serious threat to their safety; texting while driving has t he highest crash risk of all forms of distracted driving; drivers using a handheld device are four times more likely to cause a crash serious enough to cause injury; an estimated 1.3 million traffic crashes involve cell phone use each year; when using a phone while driving, whet her handheld or hands free, drivers’ reactions are delayed as much as having a blood alcohol level of 0.08%; and

Whereas, According to a 2009 study, in one year approximately 5,500 people were killed due to distracted driving and half a million more were injured; in a 2008 study it was found that when acci dents resulting from distracted driving occurred, 16% were fatal and more than 20% caused injury, and, in one year, accidents or near misses caused by distracted drivers affected 38% of Americans, both adul ts and students; and fatal crashes with reported driver distracti on rose 6% from 2005 to 2009; and

Whereas, More than thirty states have enacted laws regarding novice drivers using a cell phone or texting while driving, only nine of which have enacted laws that prohibit all drivers from using handheld devices while driving; and now therefore be it

Resolved, That PTA and its constituent associations support the adoption and enforcement of laws that restrict the manipulation of handheld and portable communication devices while driving; and be it further

Resolved, That PTA and its constituent associat ions collaborate with school districts, the state and federal departments of education, the state and federal departments of transportation and other organizations to promote education and awareness of the dangers and consequences of distracted driving; and be it further

Resolved, That PTA and its constituent associat ions urge their members, adults and students, to refrain from distracted driving and serve as a positive example for the safety of our youth.