Northam: 93% of town hall participants call distracted driving a major safety concern

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RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Tuesday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said a December 2018 online safety forum showed 93% of participants feel distracted driving is a major safety issue.  

“Changing the culture of distraction on our roadways is each of our responsibility, and with this input we can work together to promote safe driving behavior, reverse this dangerous trend, and save countless lives”, he said.  

Participants in the #YourSayVA Town Hall on Distracted Driving said drunk driving ranked as the second biggest safety issue, followed by aggressive and drugged driving. Still, nearly 80% of those who responded admitted to sometimes using their cell phones while driving, according to Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine.  

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety compiled the town hall survey results.  State officials said 126 people died in 2018 from distracted driving-related accidents in Virginia. 

Public Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Brian Moran said everyone must motivate each other to just focus on driving while behind the wheel. He said 70% of respondents asked a driver to put their phone away at least one time. 

To view complete results, click here.

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