This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that around $17.5 million in federal grant money will be made available under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) to those states that passed laws making distracted driving illegal in their jurisdictions for 2013.
“Distracted driving is a persistent and growing epidemic on America’s roads—but there has also been incredible momentum in the states in recent years to pass laws that tackle the problem head on. … This new grant program will provide states that have distracted driving laws with important resources to help save lives and prevent injuries.”
If Indiana, Illinois, or any other states around this neck of the woods want to get their share of this grant money, they will have to demonstrate to the federal government that they have legislation in place that makes distracted driving against their state law (a crime) or that they have a law in place by 2013 that outlaws texting while driving a motor vehicle: either way, the state law has to allow a law enforcement officer to pull over and stop drivers for distracted driving on state roads.
The Federal Government isn’t just putting money on the table to encourage state legislatures to pass state laws making distracted driving illegal, the NHTSA is doing other things, too. Like campaigns to boost public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Here’s a new Public Safety Announcement, part of the new Glee campaign against driving while texting: