Handheld cell use illegal when driving

Date Published: 2010-01-20

Contact: Meg Ragonese

Phone: (775) 888-7172

Title: Traffic Safety Education Topic at Upcoming Meeting

Story Text:

More than one person dies every other day in Nevada traffic crashes. To save lives and further reduce statewide traffic fatalities, the Nevada Departments of Transportation and Public Safety and other safety partners will discuss traffic safety education during the Nevada Strategic Communications Alliance meeting held Jan. 28 in Reno.

The quarterly meeting will bring together public outreach and marketing professionals from safety, transportation and law enforcement organizations across Nevada to develop public outreach efforts to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. During the meeting, new public service announcements promoting seat belts and discouraging drunken driving on St. Patrick’s Day will be discussed. Also discussed will be a new initiative to drive Nevada toward zero traffic fatalities.

The Strategic Communications Alliance formed one year ago, becoming the first coordinated statewide highway safety plan-related communications program in the nation. The alliance has thus far developed a statewide communication calendar establishing coordinated statewide traffic safety messages, from preventing drunken driving to promoting seatbelt use. The messages are seen throughout Nevada on Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) digital highway signs, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety public service announcements and other venues. The alliance is also utilizing $1 million in federal traffic safety funds for programs such as free New Year’s Eve bus rides to deter drunken driving and more. The NDOT-administered safety funds target limited funding at some of the state’s most pressing traffic safety issues.

The Strategic Communications Alliance is part of Nevada’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The plan brings safety, transportation and other groups from across the state together to reduce traffic fatalities through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical service enhancements. Since the Safety Plan’s inception in 2006, Nevada traffic deaths have decreased from 431 in 2006 to 243 in 2009, the lowest in more than 20 years.

“One fatality is too many,” alliance chairwoman and Office of Traffic Safety Administrator Traci Pearl said. “As an alliance, we dedicate ourselves to helping save lives. But, each driver must also do their part by always driving safely and attentively.”

“Wearing seatbelts and not driving under the influence are other important things every driver can do to help the work of the alliance and ensure that everyone on Nevada roads can arrive home safely,” NDOT Director Susan Martinovich said.

Further information on transportation safety and the Strategic Highway Safety Plan is available at www.drivesafenv.com and www.twitter.com/nevadadot.