New group will fight cell-phone use by drivers

Safety advocates credit Mothers Against Drunk Driving with helping to change attitudes about getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Now, they hope a new organization will similarly dissuade people from driving while talking or texting on a cell phone, reports the New York Times. On Jan. 12, the Transportation Department and the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group, announced the formation of FocusDriven, an organization aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. FocusDriven says it has taken cues about how to attack the issue from the leadership of MADD. The group evolved out of a distracted driving summit that the Transportation Department held last October. (See “Govt. calls distracted driving an ‘epidemic.'”) The federal government has estimated that in 2007, 11 percent of drivers were talking on a cell phone. Safety advocates say that figure has no doubt grown, and many of those responsible are teens. The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone-using drivers cause 1.6 million crashes each year…

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