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WHEREAS, distracted driving is a growing problem on our roadways, claiming thousands of lives and injuring hundreds of thousands more each year in the United States; and
WHEREAS, there was a 10.8% increase in Virginia traffic fatalities in 2017 compared to 2016; and
WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified distracted driving as “a crisis that needs to be addressed now”; and
WHEREAS, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety found Virginia to be one of 11 states considered "dangerously behind" in driving safety laws; and
WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, at any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 people across America are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving; and
WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution No. 727, passed in 2013 by the Virginia General Assembly, designates April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, increased awareness about the dangers of distracted driving will result in safer roadways in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, DRIVE SMART Virginia is committed to reducing the number of traffic deaths and injuries in the Commonwealth by educating motorists and bringing awareness to dangerous driving behaviors; and
WHEREAS, a month dedicated to programs and activities focused on reducing distracted driving will greatly raise awareness;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2019 as DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.