DOT Unveils New PSA Aimed At Teens, Distracted Driving

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently unveiled a new public service announcement, OMG, which will play on Outcast's PumpTop TV screens in gas stations and in Regal Cinema theaters.

The two venues will feature slightly different versions of the PSA, both meant to educate and warn drivers, primarily teens, about the dangers of distracted driving. They can be viewed online with other materials related to distracted driving and driving safety.

Teens and young drivers are a high-risk group when it comes to driving safely and distracted driving, according to research. These factors contribute significantly to the higher auto insurance rates common for younger drivers.

"Today’s teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging. That’s why it’s so important that we educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and help them make smart decisions that will keep them safe during the holiday season and beyond," said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator David Strickland.

DOT notes many young drivers may be preparing to strike out on the roads for the holidays in the near future. This step is one of many that the agency and Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have taken to attempt to curb the distracted driving problem. Laws in 35 states currently forbid text messaging while driving, and 9 prohibit hand-held cellphone use. Virginia treats texting while driving as a secondary offense, and does the same for cellphone use by novice drivers.

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