Following a program that dramatically reduced cell phone use in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, N.Y., the Dept. of Transportation is sending $2.4 million to CA and DE to help achieve the same results.

The money will help to pay for increased ticketing and driver education programs.  A similar program resulted in a 72% reduction in texting while driving in Hartford and a 32% decrease in Syracuse.

It is estimated that 10% of highway fatalities are the result of distracted driving.  The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, calls it an “epidemic, despite the fact that those deaths are 100% preventable.” 
LaHood has also implored Congress to enact a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving.

39 states have texting bans, and 10 ban all hand-held phones.  Three years ago, just 18 states had texting bans, and 7 had hand-held restrictions.

The government isn’t the only group calling for improvements to the current situation.  The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has called for national guidelines for the development of hands-free voice recognition technology.

There is also pressure coming from the Dept. of Transportation on the eleven states that do not currently have hand held cell phone restrictions in place.

The Detroit Free Press was the source for this article.