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U.S. DOT Launches New Distracted Driver Initiative

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood launches the Focus Driven initiative.
Elliot Francis
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood launches the Focus Driven initiative.

By Elliott Francis

Members of a new national advocacy organization want to raise awareness on the dangers of distracted driving through their personal stories.

Focus Driven is founded by families who've lost loved ones in traffic accidents involving drivers distracted by cell phone use. All six board members of the new organization stood sober behind U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood, who launched the initiative.

"We have now formed a group that will travel the countryside to teach children that you can't drive a car with a cell phone in your hand," says LaHood.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving.

Laws in Maryland and Virginia limit texting while driving, but so far, no state has an outright ban on cell phone use in cars. Jennifer Smith lost her mother to a distracted driver. She says the group will seek that ban.

"It's not where your hands are, it's the conversation. It's where your head is, so no cell phone use while driving," says Smith.

Members of the group say they intend to lobby legislators for laws to enact that ban.

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