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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 were 828 traffic fatalities in Virginia in 2019 compared to 819 traffic fatalities in 2018; and
WHEREAS, the number of traffic fatalities on Virginia roadways has increased 18.3% between 2014 and 2019; and
WHEREAS, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle…;” and
WHEREAS, the Governors Highway Safety Association says that phone use – particularly calling and texting – while driving is one of the most common driver distractions; 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 may reduce traffic fatalities and injuries 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 about the dangers of distracted driving; 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 2020 as DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.