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Distracted Driving Awareness Month


WHEREAS, distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, claiming thousands of lives and injuring hundreds of thousands individuals each year in the United States; and  

WHEREAS, there were 855 traffic fatalities in Virginia in 2020, higher than the three previous years; and

WHEREAS, the number of traffic fatalities on Virginia roadways has increased over 18% over the last five years; 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”; 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, it is now illegal to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth of Virginia while holding a handheld communication device; and

WHEREAS, informing all road users that it is illegal to hold a handheld communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways is essential to reducing distraction-related fatalities and injuries; and

WHEREAS, the Hands-Free Virginia Advisory Council and the Virginia Partners for Safe Driving were formed to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving; and

WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution No. 727 was passed in 2013 by the Virginia General Assembly and designates April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, DRIVE SMART Virginia created an education campaign called “Phone Down, It’s the Law” to inform the public about the new law; and

WHEREAS, increased awareness about the dangers of distracted driving may reduce traffic fatalities and injuries in the Commonwealth; 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 2021 as DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.