Distracted Driving Laws May Get Even More Stringent After DOJ Releases Info on Successful Law Enforcement Pilot Program “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other”


Distracted Driving Laws May Get Even More Stringent After DOJ Releases Info on Successful Law Enforcement Pilot Program “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other”

The Department of Justice reports that pilot programs held in New York and Connecticut have resulted in a significant decrease in distracted driving accidents, with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calling the results “dramatic.”

Pilot Programs in Syracuse and Hartford Fight Against Texting and Cell Phone Use While Driving

Two cities were chosen as the locations where the government would experiment with increased law enforcement targeting texting and cell phone use by drivers along with a big public education media campaign to educate the two communities on the dangers of texting or talking on the phone while driving a car, truck, SUV, minivan, etc.

And by “law enforcement targeting,” we mean giving lots of traffic tickets.

“These findings show that strong laws, combined with highly-visible police enforcement, can significantly reduce dangerous texting and cell phone use behind the wheel,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Based on these results, it is crystal clear that those who try to minimize this dangerous behavior are making a serious error in judgment, especially when half a million people are injured and thousands more are killed in distracted driving accidents.”

Federal Government and State Governments Shared Costs of the Pilot Programs

For each of the test runs, in New York and Connecticut, the Department of Justice put in $200,000 in federal funds with the state adding another $100,000 to cover the costs of increased police efforts as well as media costs (ads in the local newspapers, on the local television stations, etc.) They didn’t start from square one, however: costs were cut by mimicking the “Click It of Ticket” campaign as these two cities held their “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” distracted driving campaign.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Studies Success of the “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” Pilots

The NHTSA surveyed public awareness at the Syracuse and Hartford driver licensing offices and their findings include:

  • In Syracuse, New York, because of high-visibility enforcement -– both handheld cell phone use and texting behind the wheel have declined by 33%.
  • In Hartford, Connecticut, where researchers initially identified drivers talking on their cell phones at twice the frequency (which left more room for improvement), there was a 57 percent drop in handheld use and texting behind the wheel dropped by nearly three-quarters.

Based on these numbers, the NHTSA is already promoting the implementation of these campaigns across the country, pushing for “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” campaigns with state legislatures, law enforcement agencies, and consumer safety advocates as well as manning its own Distracted Driving website at www.distraction.gov.

Which means that if states are willing to spend the money, there will lots more police pulling people over for using their cellphone while driving to give them tickets that will vary in cost depending upon which authority is issuing the traffic violation.   Be careful out there.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group law firm, its jury verdicts and case results please fill out this Contact Form and information will be sent to you. Or call any of our offices in Valparaiso, Merrillville or Chicago.

Case Evaluation

Please call us, or fill in the Case Evaluation Form below, to learn more and arrange for a confidential FREE consultation.

Who was at fault?

Are you receiving medical treatment? YesNo

Have you had or do you need surgery? YesNo

Indiana|illinois

Allen Law Building

1109 Glendale Boulevard
Valparaiso, Indiana - 46383
219.465.6292

Justice Center

3700 E. Lincoln Hwy. (US 30)
Merrillville, Indiana - 46410
219.736.6292

Capital Center

201 N. Illinois Street South Tower
Indianapolis, Indiana - 46204
317.842.6926

Crain Communication Building

150 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois - 60601
312.236.6292

Lincolnshire Business Center

1000 Essington Road 
Joliet, Illinois - 60431
815.725.6292

Executive Office Building

15255 S 94th Ave #500
Orland Park, Illinois - 60462
708.460.6292