tv U.S. Senate CSPAN November 23, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
main initiative of your predecessor, bruce cole? >> well sometimes and governance when there is a switching parties, people like to think that their predecessor was somehow lacking. i succeeded a fine chairman. in fact, neh has a tradition of great chairman's. and chairman goal advance the we the people initiative that i have a great deal of respect for. week and came to maintain it, and then the initiative is really aimed at trying to put out to america a greater sense of our own culture. and doing it in some very innovative ways. wanting a program called picturing america, which is looking at some of the great american painting and other artwork as kind of -- as items
in and of themselves, and as items that can be used to advance an understanding of history itself. if you look at a historical painting, for example, a painting called the midnight ride of paul revere, which is by of course america's greatest artist, a fellow island named grant wood. [laughter] >> but it is a painting with humor and historical meaning. and from that painting, you can lead a discussion and a history class of the meaning of a moment in history, and what is important about that moment, and what relevance it has two of student in a class in idaho or iowa or new york city today. . .
that sets a model out there that politics should follow. and politics, i don't mean an elected legislator or member of an executive branch at the state level. but the notion that all of us is part of a national politic aught to be very competitive and advance all of our convictions vigorously. but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect the other side, listen to the other side. that's what people do in sports. i sometimes think the great models of leadership today are the great coaches. i mean whether it joe paterno, or kirk, these are great coaches. and they set a model. and then you have great players that they get news sometimes for doing something arrogant or
uncivil. at -- athletes are taught to compete full blown. the result might not come out exactly the way they want. but they don't cry about it. they get up and go again. and to me, that's the way politics should be. now turns from athletics, if you go to a great orchestra? what is it about? it's about a conductor leading people working to the in many different way. and it's the same kind of discipline. the same with the play. you got to have an interaction of people. and yes, you have stars, versus less stars, but it's all a cohesive thing. and to me, what's so central in american culture, and so great in american culture isn't always reflected in politics. in politics has to take lessons from outside of politics.
and we would be stronger as a society. >> how can your agency work to prevent or return to the culture wars as the divide between the gop and president obama grows? >> first of all, i think we aught to be very careful about wards. war has lots of implications. that are truly wrong in this setting. we have cultural differences. and we should be proud of those differences. that you have people of different backgrounds, you have people of different thoughts. and the idea of having everyone of one culture of one way of thinking, would not be a healthy society. and so it's great that we have diversity of cultures. but we shouldn't be thinking in terms of war. we should be thinking in terms
of are respect. >> we'll leave the few minutes of this recording. we'll go live to the national press club. nancy brinker will be talking, she is the founding chairman of the susan g. komen committed to fighting the disease. >> i'd like to thank mr. jackson, who was the chairman of the board. would you stand please, liz thompson, and the vice president of the our global health. and jennifer, president of the komen alliance. i'm proud to serve with everyone today. though all of us wish that we were here, to announce that susan g. komen has found the cure, and that we're out business. and i frankly look forward to the day when can make the
announcement. i'm confident we will find it. we have to focus on what we know. and what works is what we know. early detection, awareness, research, and treatment. and yes, screening, mammography, and self-atheirness. if you just look at the facts today, the five-year survival great from breast cancer that hasn't spread from the breast is now 98% in the u.s. contrasted to 74% in 1982. 98%. there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivals, alive in the u.s. today. the largest group of cancer survivors living. i want to remind you that these two and a half million breast cancer survivors are real women, mothers were daughters, sisters, friends, employees, and men. and last summer, i met a breast cancer survivor in california at
our affiliate in orange county. who told me something really stunning. and it keeps people like me going. she told she was an 18-year stage four breast cancer survivor. unheard of until now. and i was amazed that this women identify the disease. i asked her to walk me through her treatment from the beginning. she said, you know, it hasn't been pleasant. it hasn't been easy. i'm here. i'm arrive. i'm having a good life. what therapy have you been given. i'm proud to tell you that every single therapy has been funded very early by susan g. komen for the cure grant. 18 years of the women's life isn't an cost, it's an invaluable benefit to the family and to our country, or our national strength and values.
and that's why these reports and all of the controversy from the last week. because the report that the officially relieved last monday. it seems like it was 40 years ago. it has taken a tremendous toll. and i believe they set us back. first they related in mass confusion. and lack of clarity. and justifiable outrage. the women i have heard from, thousands and thousands and thousands are justifiable outraged and worried, and angry. they believe that the mammogram they had which detected their cancer saved their lives. they thought they had done all the right things. and all of the things that all of us in the health care system have told them to do. and they believe they are alive today because of the recommendation and because of their own practices and engagement. and i don't blame them for being concerned about future generations of women. because we spent 30 years doing this. we've asked them to take a very
active approach to their health care. and now the report comes out. it raises questions. we've worked so hard to build this public trust. and clarity is ab a salutely critical. so let me say it as clearly as i can. as a breast cancer survivor, who's breast cancer was found with a mammogram at the age of 37, and as the lead of the world largest breast cancer organization, let me say clearly to anyone watching, mammography saves lives. and even this report says so. keep doing what you are doing. speak with your physician. speak with your physician always. and as susan g. komen for the cure, we are not changing our guidelines. we can't afford to. because after all of the progress we've made, it's still the leading killer of women in america between the ages of 40 and 60. one in eight women in the u.s. will be diagnosed in her
lifetime. in the u.s., nearly 200,000 women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. and more than 40,000 will die this year alone. which brings me to my second point:access. access to care. you know, we can develop the greatest science, we can develop the greatest treatment, we can deadly weapon the greatest screening, but if people don't have access, what is it all for? 23 million women are not getting it today. that's right. there's no disagreement about this. and afterall we have done to urge people to get screened, now they hear that maybe they shouldn't bother. that it's dangerous. we spent a lot time telling me to be curious, and active participates in their cure. we've spent a long time bringing very fragile people into the health care world, into
treatment, into diagnosis, into screening. people with very low dollar insurance policies. people who are dependent on medicaid and medicare. people who are dependent on many of the private organizations that we funded and public organization that we funded in over $120 affiliates in the united states alone. people who would never had have the opportunity to have care. or screening. you know, we spent over 2.2 trillion every year on health care in the united states. surely we can cover 23 million women. it's a tiny fraction of $2.2 trillion. i'd also like to say that any insurance company that is thinking right now that this report should be used as a way to reduce coverage will be watching very carefully. we'll be watching. so access, clarity, and public trust are critical.
but so to is perhaps the center piece of what it is we are having the most trouble with. that's technology. in a strange way, all of the dust up from the past week actually may do some good. maybe it's a call. finally. we know mammography works. but we also know it's imperfect. we do need better screening technology. this technology that we're using today, though it's been improved and regenerated is still almost 50 years ago. what other business or field that we know in the united states around the world would use 50-year-old technology. this is a huge technology gap. in breast cancer and cancer screening. susan g. komen for the cure funding cutting-edge research. but we can't do it alone. we need technology that is more predictive, more available, more personal, less expensive, and
less aggressive. and it isn't rocket science. we know it exist somewhere. it's political will. t martially the political will to transform the next generation of technology. so that it's really useful for people. and people who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. i've spoken with the nih director this week. i spoke with secretary se bilious. susan g. komen will host a technology, business, advocacy communities to work together to identify ways to close the technology gap. it will be held soon, and we want you all to come back. we want you to question it the way that we are. why don't we have it? we already know one way to help
close the gap, screening, research, development. so is nih. so are others. that's also why i'm calling today on the president, on the congress, to report to the american people on investments that has been made, and screening technology and to commitment to us that whatever it is, it will be done. we need the efforts to create a technology that really, really is doubled. in effort, in will, in science, and in every way that we need it to be. because if we make it better, more predictive, less expensive, and more available. we can avoid having the same screening discussion that we have every 10 years. i guess i've been around long enough to weather it every 10 years. at end of the day, it's always about the same thing. better technology, more access, it all begins with doing what we know works, and steaks are not
only high in the u.s., but around the world. literally, millions of lives are at steak. it seems like forever, but two weeks ago i returned from a 12-day six country tour that took me through india, and on to jerusalem. it was my first extent the travel both as u.n. ambassador for the cure and both encouraging and discouraging. there's great progress being made in the fight against cancer and breast cancer. there's enthusiasm from leaders everywhere. they know they have to do something. they know that cancer is universally deadly. they must be equally universal. the point is we can't afford to slow down. we can't get distracted. we have to keep running through finish lines. and the reason is the number of cancer cases in the world is
exploding, are exploding. people are aging, governments don't use the words cancer outloud who don't have cancer registries. at the u.n., cancer is not even mentioned in the millennium development goals. it's the forgetten goal. so why would you expect countries to be talking about it? try to fight again 30 years ago on the promise of my sister susan, and i remember when she was diagnosed. but without the benefit of a mammogram. the world is very different. there are now text messaging, internet, young groups of people organizized around this disease. people crossed the street in our hometown when they saw her, because they already -- were afraid that her disease was contagious.
as i said before, i met a stage 4 survivor, and she was living testament. i had to believe that my sister was watching, and happy, and believing we were going to get to the end of the race. so with more early detection, not less screening, better screening, more hope, more research, which is translating to longer lives, and most importantly, more survivors. show us what's possible? today we're talking about breast cancer in the u.s. i hope you will invite me pack to talk to you about the global cancer crisis. there's a lot we need to do. and a lot we need to write about. a lot of awareness that we need to create. the story involving a deadly enemy that takes more lives every year than tv, malaria, and aids combined. cancer now kills more people that tb, aids, and malaria. and in many countries it is
more. something is wrong when one the most lethal diseases isn't even mentioned by name for many countries, and something is wrong when it's hidden in other diseases. now consumer 8 million lives a year, those are the ones that are counted. it would be like the state of virginia being wiped out every year. it's only projected to get much worse. that's why we need your help. the plain fact is the cases are projected to rise. and 13 million to nearly 27 million by 2030. and by then, cancer would easily consume 17 to 20 million lives every year. if this is accurate or not, there are still too many people in the u.s. who are dying of cancer of all kinds. i know we can do this. i know we can do this, because we know enough and we have
enough resources to make it happen. not just in america, but around the world. we can always use more. but let's recommit ourself to what we have now. and turn more of our energy and resources on this crisis, to move faster towards saving more lives. the other day someone asked me why i keep doing this work, and why we work so hard every day. to complete our mission. and after 30 years of laboring in the field, it's only more confident, and feeling more charging to victory. because i remember a horrific disease cured by generations where the victims were hidden away in shadows and hopelessness that the treatment would never be found. the epidemic and citizen and scientist took action. the governments formed and founded new institutions. people exhibited extraordinary amounts of leadership and collaborated with a sense of urgency. i'm not talking about cancer.
i'm talking about polio. and on the day in 1955 when i was a little girl and the polio vaccine was allowance -- announced in my hometown, the church bell ranges. our parents and teachers wept in a moment of silence as if the war had ended. and indeed it had. years later, they said very publicly, if we are to solve the disease and collaborate, we must cooperate, and we must lean. the diseases are different. but the lessons are the same. and we believe that susan g. komen that we forge an approach that is prevention oriented, evidence-based oriented. we too can imagine a day when another scientific breakthrough changes the world. where coverage health works as
an outreach of scientific exploration. when the miss secmy like the error and artifacts of history, and when church bells ring because the world of cancer is coming to an end. thank you very much for being here today. thank you for participating in the aftermath of this report. and thank you for asking so many good and valuable questions. keep asking questions. and let's get some questions? [applause] >> first of all, can you talk about the past, and if you think there's anything valuable, and what you think of their yes enables and who they are. >> that's very, very valuable. it's very accomplished people. our only concern was two years. it was total surprise about the
way it was announced. and frankly, my personal feeling is, you know, again the culture is deep enough, so many years and the health care. of course, my personal thought is so much about the divisions. but frankly, we're frightened. and they ability to show up to take the mammogram or screening of the health care is fragile. i feel like the behavior science is that it was focused on perhaps as much as it should have been. in other words, there are ways to deliver, and convene, and deliver the messages. no one supposed to agree more significantly on many areas. so this is my first about that. >> just to follow up, you face the distribution of the guidelines differently. can you tell me a little bit about that? >> it's not the distribution.
it would have helpful to treat cancer every day. again public health. we'll deal with the message. and this alone would have comfort to hear this sooner. and to hear it in a way that perhaps there's been a shape and position it. so that people do understand. >> our actions on how screening science will turn out four to five years in the subject that can be looking for. we look very, very carefully
including staying issue and prevention. anything that we can find the study to look at, and really find science to be chairing from harvard and world scientists look at this for example. our advocacy care. we want to make sure we measure it specifically for the two years for the -- we want time. >> is this the timing of this announcement subs than? >> i choose not to -- people in the state are panels every day. so i would not think that way. >> are you just being nice? >> no. [laughter]
>> what's komen's position on health care reform? >> we're going to take on -- we're making sure the priorities are included in the final legislation and evident -- evaluate it. we're very focused on education, survivors, and the public. as all organization funds from the breast cancer screening to watching it very carefully. and we're going to look very carefully. we are working with them to make sure the key positions are including coverage of screening, banning insurance discrimination with people with preexisting conditions, lowering out out-of-pocket expenses, and this is an important key part of cancer therapy today. making sure we have lower cost for energies to ensure that people who are more recently
able to november gait their way through cancer therapy and treatment. it's a very important part again. again on the behavioral side. but extremely important to be able to commit to accept their therapy, and walk through the very confident system. >> across the board for skin and colon cancer. are you concern this will discourage people that are benefit from screening from seeking it? >> yes. >> what do you guidelines mean for real women? it opposed to unreal women? [laughter] >> we want to encourage every single women and man to encourage what you are doing. be interactive and proactive with the your health care professional.
we need to deal, to study, to go to well versed and cancer center. it's very credible cancer center. whenever to learn as much as you can, and to be as educated as you can. to question your provider. what we are doing, i mean people, screening mammography saves lives. we want people to continue to do what they are doing. >> you seem to have some allies on capital hill. representative comes to mind. how are you working with these folks? and what would be your a number one priority legislation? >> i think our a number one priority legislation would have to be i guess the four areas. i think you can't weigh one against the other. these are the four credible issue that we believe. not only work with members on
the hill to have a very large group of people who have is supported us over the years in many ways. we do seek to say out the partisan. it simply is not what we want to do. staying in the politics and partisan politics are cancer are very different. >> are te health and laura seemans working with your group on getting more funds for research on technology? >> they are going to. >> can you explain that further? [laughter] >> we need to have a new technology summit. we need to have industry come to the table. we need to have government come to the table. we need to have add have cat groups, private insurers. when you see cell phones, when you walk through screening at the airport, i just can't be
convinced that there's not a better generation of breast and probability prostate, and every other kind of screening, lung cancer. there has to be a better way. we need market incentives, we know to make it happen. that's what companies are largely interested in. the companies are also interested in detecting early disease. that's what they do. we will be urging them as much as we can to participate in the solutions to close the technology gap. >> how much of komen money is going towards research and new detection technology now? >> i can't -- i'm going to ask perhaps liz thomas. p liz, correct me if i'm wrong. we just committed $20 million to prevention research. we have to wand if i. we have invested a lot of money
again. and the issue that impacts the breast cancer patient from screening to end of life, we have made terrific contributions. and we will continue to do so. >> let me remind our audience, if you have questions please write them on the card and pass them up. we are going to have time for more questions. what about advice to get a mammography every two years instead of annually. aren't there cases where breast cancer can spread more quickly before that next mammogram. >> when i was talking about better, efficient, cheaper screening, that's what we are talking about. when we when we started -- we know when we started screening, we need better technology. which tumor in which person has very aggressive features? and will likely grow more quickly. and which are not. that's really the issue. and so that's exactly.
it's going to year or two years to be decided in hopefully in the conversation with one health care's providers. therefore, we can watch it in two years. we don't know. but one thing we do know, is we have to close the technology gap. >> would you acknowledge that there are instances in which mammography or self-examine has a downside? >> sure. i can do that personally. once with you're a breast cancer survivor, and i think we all are always a little nervous talking about how many disease free years. mine is well over 20 years. you still have anxious moments. you are a survivor. and most educated women and who have access to health care, choose to have more than less screenings. they want to feel the security. there's always high anxiety when you go for the cancer screening. and if you have a false positive, we're not arguing with that.
i think -- largely the women and men that we've heard from last week are very much on the side that they are grownups. they can face the anxiety. they'd rather know than not know. again, i'm sorry the rather boring about that. but again it's closing the technology gap. with more information, people can make better decisions, and it will create a whole lot less anxiety. >> how can we stop economics from blocking patient care like breast cancer screening? >> well, that's -- i'm not sure i understand the question other than to say that -- you mean the cost of screening? i don't know or just be careful to save our economy today? >> i think the idea of health care rationally. >> well, our world, susan g. komen is to continue to ensure access. you know, to get the cost of
screening so that we can -- it can be afforded in a very public health setting. so very much public health setting. this is the to lower cost. again more efficient, quicker, easier were low power source tools. go try to do a mammogram in africa in some the places that we work. it wouldn't be effective. you couldn't do it. we need better tools. >> what roll, if any, do you think the ongoing health care debate had on the newly released guidelines? >> i don't know that it did. the panel two years ago were trying to look at the science-based evidence and the primary care setting. these were not cancer positions. they were trying to react to a set of circumstances. i will say that apparently, i was told by the director of nih that some the things based on
mammography is still mammography. which is an older version than digital. so that we don't yet have the data for digital. and if it's more effective, less effective. i think we do have some questions and want to find out more about that. >> as secretary se peel yows done enough? what should do next? >> i think secretary sebeilus has been responsible. we've spoken to her more than a few times. there was a difficult issue to have to deal with. she understands, she's been a governor, she understands if it impacts people's lives and how important communication is. what was the second part? sorry. >> what should nns do next?
>> well, i think hhs is as focused as we are. we are going to encourage them to do some things that we can't do. on the technology and research. bringing it up sooner. i know we are focused on that. getting answers faster. making people aware of where we need to go. and again focusing on the small amount of money this kind of research requires versus what we are spending on health care overall. >> so there has been so much controversy and most of the outrage falling on your side of the argument. is there a possibility that this report will just go away. is that it will be ignored? >> i think there will be a distinctive. no, i don't think things get ignored. i think will have to be translated into a public health understanding. i think you can't take
recommendation like this, and just assume they sit by themselves and the world changes. you have to look at things as to how they can be translated into a care. and how not to break a fragile system. and people's trust. and so no, i don't think so. i think there will be more reports from panels. i think you can look to more scientists, releasing more data. every 10 years we have the screening debate. this year we'll have another one. that will be interesting. i hope this one will produce a lot more progress than the last one. >> is there any possibility that the task force might reverse it's opinion on their recommendation. >> i don't think so. i think they've made the recommendation. i don't know. i haven't spoken to the chairman. i would assume they will keep the recommendation. they will engage perhaps in communicating. i think the rage has been furious. and i'm glad i'm not a member of
the panel. >> can you give us an estimate of how many outraged people have contacted you? >> thousands. thousands. we have 25 maybe 30,000 people who signed up to join our actions on advocacy alliance. and we are -- our lines are going off hook, and the e-mails we expect a giant respond. >> what are they telling you? >> nay are tells us that they want to, the same things. there's fear, there's lack of trust, there's concern, they feel gad in the habits they've already established. many of them are comfortable with the health care provider and what they are doing. there are sometimes fragile people, fragile because they've have diagnosis, and they want to keep up with care that will give them some sense of peace of mind. it maybe the perfect world.
but it's one the only tools we have. also it's a real understanding of just the rage that people feel. because it's so personal. breast cancer is very personal. all disease is personal. that breast cancer is very personal to women, and very sense i. and people aren't yet comfortable saying words out loud. that's the kind -- those are the -- that's the kind of level of sensitivity we deal with. >> if the medical experts and a government officials can't agree on what is right, how can women decide what to do themselves when they work with their own doctor? >> i believe some of the -- i believe that some of the great advances of science has been made with dispute, with discussion, with advocacy, i'm going to remain optimistic that the same thing will happen. i'm going to remain optimistic that when we convene technology, that real forward process will come out. we will able be able to turn
around in a few years and say, there's a good thing that happened. >> what treatments are showing the most promise? >> you know, we have such a number of different strategies now. i think the anti-bodies, i think the inhibitors that you just heard about. i think all the great advances that you've heard about, by the way, i'm proud to tell you that we have funded every single one of them. they are exciting. and they are leading to an era of personalized diagnosis in care. in one way good, one way a little scary. they are expensive. and they are first generation. so it's going to take a while. what we are praying for the in the short term is seeing breast cancer become a chronic disease. so that the lady i met in california is sort of standard, rather than someone who's highly unusual.
and i think to keep the focus going and people going. i have to go back to the number of years i've served in this effort. i can remember very well, it's a young women when they signed the national cancer act, it seems like light years away. we've made progress. we've had lots of right turns and left turns. but i do believe now that we are in the most exciting time of cancer therapy that we have ever known. >> can you talk about the difference between detection and prevention? >> yeah. big difference. protection is looking at the disease before it's spread and grown. prevention is what we are looking at is some day being able to extract am knee yachtic fluid to see what the baby may have. can we do something in prenatal stages that women and children
don't develop these diseases. it's going to be years until that happens. we're also hoping to find some blood marker in the short term. that's going to be difficult. yeah, it's difficult right now. we need some kind of blood work to determine whether the women might develop and be able to intervene in the growth as soon as we can. that would be the most cost effective way to deal with it. >> if women are denied mammography, what would be your advice to them by the insurance company. >> get in touch with jenni at the susan g. komen, komen advocacy.org. we have ways to explain, and make sure we protect people. this is why we are focused on access, and why we want to make it a piece of whatever reform goes forward. we understand it's taken years and years and years to top the
access programs that work and banning insurance from denying women care because of a preexisting condition. and lowering out-of-pocket expenses. again, being a breast cancer survivor. i can tell you what it feels like when you are denied care or coverage. it's scary. it just can't happen. so call us. >> do you agree with berndine that this is a precursor for health care rationing? >> she's a fine physician. that is her opinion. we focus our efforts at looking at reform and what we can do for the cancer patient. you know, we're not going to characterize what anybody else says, or get into partisan politics, we're going to say where we are in the politics of what we are dealing with, advancing the interest and the protection of breast cancer and cancer patients. >> what can we expect to see
during the next couple of weeks as this discussion continues? >> well, a lot more e-mails to our office. what i think you'll see is the beginnings much a very healthy engagement in debate, particularly cancer leaders. we will be in serious discussion with hhs, and nih, and other organizations, we'll be working on convening. i think you will see a lot of discussions behind the scenes. and you'll continue to here a lot of advocacy going forward from people. >> what would be the single most important get for you in health care reform? >> single most important get? i think it's hard to say, but the sort of package of what we're asking for. because we've, among ourself and watching the data, we don't do things, honestly, as we look very closely at what we are doing, and what we think the
most important get is the areas, four of them, that we've taken on because we believe and know at the end of the day, that's the most important things in the near term for ben cancer patient. >> okay. that does it for our questions. unless there's any reporters here that have something answered. everybody okay? well. let me remind our members of our future speakers, november 30th we have prince albert the second of monaco who will address the national press club luncheon. on november 4, joy, co-founder of studio theater. december 8th, ceo of the sesame street characters. the early report was grover. second, i would like to present
our guest with the npc mug. [applause] >> i'd like to thank you all for coming today. i'd also like to thank national press club staff members ma lend da and pat. special thanks to melissa for organizing today's speaker. the video archive is provided by national press club operation center. our events are available for free down load on itunes as well as on ours,. nonmembers may purchase transcripts, audio and video tapes by e-mails us as archive email@example.com. for more information go to our web site at www.press.org. thank you very much. we are adjourned.
>> president obama will address the human rights award winner that's scheduled for 5:40 p.m. eastern live on c-span 2. >> tonight net neutrality, and improving broadband service in the u.s. federal communications met the goals for the agency on the communicators on c-span 2. >> thanksgiving week on c-span, a look on politics in america. that includes next year's midterm, and a look ahead to 2012. what's fair in politics, and assessing the president obama presidency. also, tuesday night, the first
steak dinner as he welcomes india prime minister. later american icons, three nights of documentaries, beginning with the supreme court. now a portion on the conference of distracted driving, a new government report says distractions caused 6,000 deaths last year. and half a million injuries. hosted by the transportation department, this is about two hours and ten minutes. >> i'm deputy transportation. it's a real pressure to be here today. i know we had an excellent day yesterday with a lot of very
important activities. we're going to be building on that today. we're going to start right at the top today. hearing from two of our united states senators. and let me begin by introducing our first speaker senator mark pryor, he has served since 2003. he's a voice of reason who works with democrats for arkansas and our nation. he serves on six committees, including the senate rules, senate ethics, homeland security and governmental affairs, the appropriations committee, and the center of science and transportation. it's on the senate commerce science and transportation committee where he most often works on issued related to transportation. he's a member of the subcommittee on aviation,
subcommittee on surface transportation, and the subcommittee on consumer protection and chronic safety. as chairman of the subcommittee, senator pry will play a significant role in the develop of transportation policy, particularly as they relate to automobile safety. please join me in welcoming senator mark pryor. [applause] >> well, thank you very much for having me. and thank you, all for being here today. this is a very important issue that's facing our nation. that i think we all can work together and find a good solution, and good approach on how to deal with it. i really want to thank secretary lahood for his leadership and his commitment on this issue.
he's really been great over at d.o.t., and we appreciate his leadership and his sort of practical approach. and aapproach on problem solving. he's just been great. today, actually, there's a law in arkansas that goes into effect that we call paul's law, because there's a man name paul davidson from jonesboro, arkansas, father of three, he was killed in a head-on collision by a driver who was we think texting, and swerved into his lane. he was less than a quarter mile from his house. he left behind a wife and three children. so unfortunately, that is the classic case. and i was just talking to jennifer smith who's from texas. and she had a similar situation in her family. and unfortunately, we see this more and more and more all
around the country. what i would like to do as soon as we get a director and get someone in there, who has a little bit of time to get squared away. i'd like to do a hearing in the commerce committee on this issue because statistics are startling. this is clearly an area that needs a lot of attention, and i think that there are a lot of things that we can do in the national level. i appreciate arkansas and any other states, i don't know exactly how many states have these laws or similar-type laws. i know there are 20 plus that have cell phone law. but anyway. i appreciate arkansas and many other states for doing this. and i think that's great. but i also think that there's a role in the national government too play. and handle the secretary lahood there, and the leadership that he's providing. i think that we can really work
together and come up with something that really does help. and part of this maybe an awareness campaign. and maybe we can talk about how that would work or the thanksgiving or the psas. and we need to really look at the data and the studies to see if there's research that needs to be done. and can help, you know, steer uses, and getting moving in the right direction. that's another thing that is very, very important. that's commercial vehicles. whether they be buses or trucks or, you know, whatever they maybe. commercial vehicles, i think, clearly this is an issue there as well. and i'm sure the various industry groups have come in already for the public transportation. i'm sure as we work on this, and the senate, we'll hear from people all over the country that have good ideas. and so one the good things about the senate is we have a history
of being a place for ideas can shared and worked on. and we'll bring everything together inside a common sense solution. we want to try to do that. and i'm going to sit down here and, i don't know, have my colleague robert menendez. i'm going to sit down as we go through this, i'll be glad to answer any questions. thank you very much for having me. [applause] >> thank you, senator, we look forward to your input. the next is robert menendez from new jersey. senator menendez is at the forfront of helping develop the transportation policy. in particular, he's a champion for the safety. earlier this year, health institutions legislation to ban texting while driving across the
country. the only hispanic member of the senate, senator has central to americans. he grew up in front of everybody in union city. and he has risen to become one of the united states senator and member of the senate leadership. he's earned the representation of the fighter for the new jersey and economic security ahead of others. he first entered public life to 19 year old politics when he witnessed short comings in the public education system, and rose to become a member of the u.s. house of representative leadership in the senate. please join me in welcoming senator robert menendez. [applause] [speaking in native tongue] >> we might continue that.
let me say i thank the secretary for the gracious introduction. i appreciate being here with my distinguished colleague mark pryor who is somewhat respected on both sides of the aisle. and to help us on this issue. you know, distracted driving in my view is an epidemic. that's finally getting the attention it deserves. the statistics are sobering, according to the studies by the triple a, almost 60% of teens admit to texting while driving. nationwide, nearly 16% are caused by distracted drivers. since 2002, the harvard senate found that over 2,000 people -- over 2,000 driving deaths a year that can be contributed to
drivers that are distracted by communication devices. and the conference released number that show nearly 6,000 people were killed last in a vehicle crash killed by a distracted driver. the following and we live in a society that seems to be able to work more and more and more. the issue really though the is safety of a lot of families. there was a time and the dangers of driving while drunk were a great concern. with cell phones adding to that, or dialing while talking while driving, and the hands-free devices to use the cell phones while driving. now we see it, and i believe in
more consequences of texting while driving. i'm completely amazed that anyone thinks it's a great idea to take your eyed off the road, look down, and type a message while driving in traffic. i've seen all versions. i've seen this version. they think the eyes looking ahead is going to okay. and the relate is any of those versions with a vehicle that has horsepower that can go off the road is significant. we comment that the dexterity that it takes to handle the moving vehicle, avoid traffic, when a car in front of you stops, navigate the site, keep an eye on traffic around you,
>> meaning you can be pulled over for driving while texting alone. that's why as been mentioned, we have introduced legislation to ban anyone from texting while operating a motor vehicle. the bill is the alert drivers act and it requires states to ban texting while driving or risk losing federal highway funds. it will in my view save young lives, the lives of new drivers from texting anywhere, anytime, is part of life, even behind the wheel of a car and the lives of innocent people around the. as i said, driving is a privilege. it comes with responsibility not only to yourself but to others on the road. a community responsibility to
obey the rules of safety of yourself and others. it demands seriousness and respect for the law. the aaa foundation for traffic safety released polling data that shows 87 percent of americans consider texting or e-mailing while driving to oppose a comical, very serious safety threat. nearly equal to that is the 90% consider drunk driving to be a threat. so the time has come to act before it is too late, before more lives are lost. and we look back with regret that we did nothing in the face of imminent danger. i appreciate the secretary, and all who are bringing the administrator for tackling this issue for casting a spotlight on it, for convening some of the best people in the country to think about it and how we best a project. i think it's wrong in the past
we have hidden this issue, and there were those that were called upon to come forth and to study it. and that was denied. and so i respect the secretary who i worked with with the house of representatives, is a fantastic person, and someone who can work across the aisle to make things happen and to make our people and our country safer. and i want to appreciate companies like verizon. for seven years have had an active corporate responsibility of talking about the dangers of distracted driving. that type of corporate leadership is what we need across the landscape of the country for those who produce these devices. i am pleased that companies like verizon, state like new jersey, have acted. i think it's time for congress to act at the same federal level so that we not risk one more life. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, senator. although senators pryor and menendez both have very hectic senate schedule today, they've graciously agreed to take a few questions. i'd ask if our panelists have question, you have microphones. fermenters of the audience, there are three microphones around the room. there's also a microphone for web questions as well. so if i could ask the senators to come on up and take questions. >> i know it's early, but you had your coffee. it's time to get going. >> good morning. what is the role of the federal government in an issue like this and what do we depend on the states and localities to?
>> well, there's several different ways the federal government can have a role in this. one is that we can have a bill like what senator menendez and his cosponsors have done in trying to establish the national legislation. there's other approaches that we use in other contexts, like for example, with a seatbelt laws. we've had a provision on the books that if states have what they call primary seat belt laws, they may get more money under the highway fund, versus less if they don't. you know, things like that. so we can have a role in setting the overall national policy. and again, i think this is a nationwide issue. it's not isolated in one locality or one region. it's a nationwide thing. i think there is roughly about
90 percent of the people in this country have a cell phone, and a lot of those without either text or e-mail or internet capability to it. so i think there's a traditional and natural role for the federal government to play. >> thank you. i think one of our panelists had a question. >> with reference to the alert drivers act, should that pass, would the act continue funding to states predicated on the passage of a primary law, or does it not state primary law? >> it does at this point state primary law. budget would give time for the transition to take place. >> thank you. >> server? >> good morning, senators. it is actually an honor to be in
your presence, and thank you for providing support to this very serious catastrophe, or you call it more like an epidemic. i'm saying this because i lost my daughter about one and a half years ago to a distracted driver. she was a sophomore at universiuniversity of wisconsin in madison, international business, and going into a great lady, supporting all sorts of causes in the world. however, that was cut short. in her memory, what we have created is a foundation for distracted drivers. 100% dedicated to distracted driving. i saw a lot of use here in the audience. question that i would ask is
related to some discussion we had yesterday. yesterday there were three components that were discussed. of course, laws and all sorts of punitive i would call laws of punitive in nature. however, there are two other things to it, technology which are non-communication. what kind of things argue, the senate, or the whole countries governance bodies are doing to enable the education part of that? there was so much focus on technology yesterday, but there was not a single panel that talked entirely on, they focus on education. so i think that seems to be an important part of this whole problem solving process that you have undertaken. so i would like you, provide your insight on that, and what
could we do? >> well, first of all i am very sorry for the loss of your daughter. and it is her lies and lies of others, many others who moves us, some of us to do the legislation that i discussed. but i don't believe it to one single issue at all because you can have a ball and some people may violate it. at the end of the day your suggestion of education is a very good one. i know that some of us who drafted this proposal are looking at other alternatives. in terms of how else can we get people to understand the dangers of driving while distracted. and certainly, whether we look at the traditional driver ed, education at the youngest level, trying to make that an integral
part of that effort. and even earlier on as part of our health education, safety being part of good health, those are considerations under way. there is no formal proposal yet, but there are a group of us accumulating information of what are some of the best to the extent there are out there in the country, what are some of the best initiatives. >> let me follow up on that. thank you for being here and sharing your story, in the story of her daughter. but in the senate committee, it's a great forum for us to put these good ideas on the table and take ideas that you guys are generating here, but also from around the country. and i do agree with senator menendez when he says, when we approach this problem i think the answer is all of the above. i think we need to look at education, and that is partly a pr type campaign. psa's, working in schools as far as drivers edge classes, working
through the wireless companies. there's going to be, that's a multifaceted keys there, and we mention technology and apparently he will talk about that quite a bit yesterday. i don't want to single out these two companies to the exclusion of others, but i am aware of two companies that have been pretty active on this already. and one is for ricin at verizon wireless i think was the first wireless company to come out and affirmatively endorsed some of these state initiatives to try to do this. and i don't know about the other wireless companies, and they may be there as well, but i do think the rise of wireless was the first one to do it. at another company is ford, ford motor company. we have in our office in little rock, we actually have a mobile office admitted ford vehicle and they have what they call a seat technology. other companies have similar things, but basically it allows
through using voice and using other things in the vehicle to try to do more hands-free, etc. now the truth is, we need to look at that type technology because that can be distracting as well, and you all know that. i appreciate a lot of this technology that's coming out there, but we need ways to evaluate that. some of this is going to be through u.s. dot. some through the u.s. senate and house and other places, but we need to evaluate the technology and really look for solutions that work on this, but i think the answer is all of the above. >> thank you. >> i just want to add on behalf of u.s. dot. we agree 100 percent at education is a huge part of this issue. we didn't talk about yesterday but we will talk about it at our 11:30 a.m. panel today on public awareness and education. we feel that certain what the most important discussions we are going to have your. >> thank you, peter.
>> senators, my name is jeff larsen. thank you very much for being here. i'm not really one who knows very much about the political atmosphere in washington. i know the sessions later on we'll talk about more local things but can you talk about the legislation that the texan legislation that is in front of you know, and what the political pitfalls are, where is the opposition? do you get a sense as to how much support there is for it? and what we can do to try to push that legislation on so it become successful? senator pryor, i noticed that you didn't speak for the legislation. are you out in opposition to it? may be this big a little bit two at. >> let me say that i didn't speak for it because i just haven't had a chance really to look at it. we will definitely spend time in our committee on the legislation. and like i said, we would like
to have senator menendez and others involved in that process and like to get people from around the country to talk about it. whenever you do this type of legislation, there may be some opposition. and we just don't know yet until we really start to move the bill through the process. i mean, i can think of some people that might be a post to it, but i think in the end, my sense is they will be very little, if any, opposition to this legislation. it is really just a matter of us trying to get it right. if bob wants to talk about it in his bill. >> very briefly. look, whenever we impose -- i'm sorry i'm looking for where you are. whenever we impose the possibility of losing highway funding if you do not do a certain action, there is of
course strong reticence to that. and i understand that. and that should not be done as quickly as we turned on tap water. government shouldn't be ordering every single thing, but when issues arise, particularly as we travel not just within our state between states, that continuously raise the number of fatalities in our country which has a cost not only to families who are left behind, but also cost to our society as a whole. the half a million entries have an enormous health consequence, and a consequence in terms of the costs of those injuries. so this continues to rise, and it is only really relatively late that the studies have been done. so i think we see a rising compelling case. some are concerned about that, i understand that. you know, there may be ways in which we can, i call, incentivize people to move in that direction. there are many ways to
incentivize. ever open. but our goal at the end of the day to not to allow distracted driving, just to be something that takes place and that we are willing to accept as a society, but to do something about it. i think in that mutual goal, i agree with senator pryor, there will be a lot consensus at the end. >> thank you. sir? at. >> thank you. stephen aldrich. thank you for being here this morn. one of the things that has come up a number of times around the distracted driving definition and focuses on the epidemic is taxing, cell phone usage. one of the things i would like to ask is how does that compare, if you don't have, i look for choosing the debate as the bill moves forward to the other forms of distracted driving. there are roughly 6 million accidents each year in the united states. there is an epidemic rising from cell phone usage and from texting. but there are literally millions and millions of other accidents caused by other forms of
distracted driving. maine has taken a different approach as you look at all forms of distracted driving. how do you think the bill might evolve? >> well, i mentioned in my formal comments that there are some who have looked at this and said that distracted driving by texting is in a class all of its own. you know, i think distracted driving as a generic topic is a challenge to our safety. and so i applaud secretary, the administrator for looking at it broadly. my focus on texting, however, not to the exclusion of the others is because i think it poses a unique challenge. even when you're driving and you are speaking on a cell phone, at least you have the potential of looking at the road ahead. or if you use a hands-free device. that doesn't mean you can't be distracted because you get engaged in your conversation to such a depth that you have lost some dimension of awareness of what the road ahead looks like. but when you take a blackberry,
and/or phone, and you are texting on it, it just simply is not possible to do without looking at it. and in that context, you're taking your eyes off of the road. and we all know, you know, in many parts of our country, both in its degree of urbanization terms of the degree of the traffic that is out there, in the road construction work that is happening, in the fact that someone else may not be particularly responsible, we've got to watch out for the other guy as part of our responsibilities, not only ourselves watching out for the other guys. that is all hard to do if your eye is off the road as a simple fundamental principle. and texting while driving clearly does that more so than even other forms of distracted driving. >> thank you. we have time for one more question, and we're going to turn to our web microphone for
the question to expect our first question from the web this morning is will the d.o.d. reauthorization included infrastructure solutions to the distracted driving problems such as rumble strips, soft barriers, etc.? >> go we don't know that yet. we are in the process of just really starting putting together the sort of conceptual stage, the dot reauthorization, the highway bill. right now, everybody knows, we are distracted in the senate by health care. and even though i'm not on the two health care committees, i mean, it's just living out there and it is hard to get other people to focus on anything. but will happen i think, late this year and early next year is it you will see start to gear
up. there will be, let's see, three i think different committees that will deal with the bill. the commerce committee is one. and we have a pretty good piece of it. we will be looking at those types of things to see if they should be included. of course, we will be working very close with transportation, state highway departments and various safety groups, and just people from around the country to talk about what should be included in this. so it is a good suggestion, and my sense is there will be something in the bill for that, but at this moment i don't know exactly what that looks like. thank you very much for having us. we appreciate it. [applause] >> peter? >> we're going to go right into our next panel. good morning i'm peter rogoff.
i serve under secretary the hood and deputy secretary porcari as administrator. i want to make a brief confession, while again sometime for my panelists to come up to the table. this morning during my commute in from arlington, i've read about 14 e-mails. i texted six responses, and i engaged in two brief cell phone calls. however, i did that on the 3-e bus connecting to the orange line metro rail service. there actually is a risk related to texting and distracted driving as it relates to public transportation. that risk lies in the center of the operator around the vehicle, but the own risk that everyone talks about as it relates to transit passengers is the risk of being so distracted that they missed their stop and then they have to turn around and come on back. i've done it.
the point of going to make here is that we have studies all across that we gather routine at the fda that shows that people often off to drive instead of taking transit because it might save in 10 or 15 minutes on the commute of a great many of those same commuters spend their first half-hour of the morning at their desk answering e-mail, and a certain have to do with the last half-hour of the day at the desk also handling e-mail. when you really think about it, they may spend, save 10 minutes in the commute. but if they got on the bus, or got on the train, and use a handheld device and did that first half-hour and that last half hour on e-mail, they could leave for work at half hour later. they could get home a half hour sooner. that's the difference between having breakfast with your kids are not. having dinner with your kids or not. is where we think the nexus of safety comes together.
so sort of pick up on something that john and those of the uta mentioned yesterday. we think a strong message that needs to be sent out there it is that if you really need to text, you really need to talk or tweet, take transit. many of you are old enough to remember the ads where it said go greyhound, leave the driving to us that we would like to say to all those textures out there, take transit and leave the driving to us, it will be a safer nation for it. like i said, we are very focused on the issues of distracted driving as it relates to the operators of transit vehicles. and we've had some success, virtually not all agencies, but almost all agencies have prohibited the use of cell phone while operating transit vehicle. and some agencies have established a policy requiring that personal cell phones and electronic devices be turned off and stowed off of the person
while operating a transit vehicle, or performing a critical safety function. other agencies have prohibited personal cell phones or electronic devices from being in the operating capital together. in the federal railroad administration, we succeeded in buying as a matter of regulation the use of those devices in the cab through federal regulation. however, in the federal transit administration, we are statutory prohibited from imposing minimum safety regulation of that kind of your an emphasis, at present, it is prohibited by law from imposing transit safety minimum regulation of that kind. that is something the secretary lahood has vowed to reform and were working on those initiatives now. but we have like i said, had good success in conjoined industry for transit system as large as the new york city subway, cda in chicago, san
francisco, they've had some very tragic incident and had to do with doing the right thing in that regard. that is not necessarily the topic of this morning's panel. but when you invite a federal transit administration be the moderator, these are the introductory speeches you get. [laughter] >> the topic of today's panel is really focused on legislation regulation and the enforcement of distracted driving. is really a discussion of what does it take to get a law passed in the states, what has colored the different responses in the different states, and as secretary lahood emphasized yesterday, we face a huge challenge on the enforcement side. and how to enforce strategies differed, and how do we get at the core issue of the lack of value we get from the law if it's not enforced. we have a great panel of very experienced people on this issue from around the country. the first one i would like to
introduce is john d'amico. john kirtley serves as his fourth term as chairman of evils and safety committee in the illinois general assembly. he has been a true safety leader in the illinois legislature. he has got a number of laws under his belt, including requiring minimum of 50 hours rather than 25 hours for practice behind the will to get a graduated driver's license. the imposition of graduated driver's licenses for new drivers in illinois, he passed legislation that allows parents or guardians of minors to view their teenagers driving records online. is passed legislation to restrict the use of cell phones by teens while driving. he passed legislation which bans the use of cell phones by drivers in all schools and construction zones and he has passed legislation that bans texting while driving. so as of january 2010, in a few months time, it will be illegal to compose send or receive text
messages while behind the wheel in illinois. so i would like to recognize and bring up a really are and this area, john d'amico. [applause] >> thank you very much. it's an honor to be here today, and i want to thank secretary lahood for inviting me and putting the summit together. because i think this text messaging and driving is something that is very dangerous, and we need to try to do all of our state to pass this law. i would like to give you a little background on what we were able to do in illinois. unfortunately, i got started with some of this legislation because of a tragic accident that happened right by my house, and was some neighbors of mine. their kids were involved in a terrible accident. no drinking or drugs were involved. they were just out late at night. they were all 16 years old, and two young boys lost their lives. my friends in the area wound up asking me was there anything we do, could we possibly raise the
driving age to 18. and i can take this. i introduced the bill to raise it to 18, even though we never got that bill to the house floor, it was probably one of the most effective pieces of legislation that i ever introduced. because what wound up happening was every teacher, every parent, every major news media outlet was covering this bill. and it got every kid talking to their parents and talking to their teachers, just about what a privilege it is to drive a car. and they were able to realize, look, we might just take that away from you if you don't concentrate on what you are doing. and what we wound up doing in illinois, like the previous speaker said, we doubled the hours from 25 to 50 that a kid has to put behind the wheel with their parents. until those hours had to be at night. that was just the start. plus the parent had to sign off before they got their license. i was amazed before that a 16 year old kid could just walk into the secretary of state office and get his license with
or without the parents knowledge. and we put that in place that the parent had to sign off on that. from there, secretary white started a task force. this task force brought everybody together. we had judges. we had lawyers. we had a school superintendent. we had law enforcement on this task force, and we met across the state for the entire summer dig out what we could do to help our young drivers. and that's what we wound up coming up with a graduated driver's license. and i'm proud to say it is one of the strictest in the nation. much after that bill was signed, teen fatalities dropped 47%. so it is a start in the right direction. that's what we have to continue to keep working with that, because it was mentioned yesterday, i mean, everything starts with our teenagers. and we need i think over time, when you get in your car now, your kids turn to u.s.a. debt, put your seatbelt on. it wasn't too long ago that was
never brought up. so i think over time, working with our teenagers before you know it, cell phones in the car, texting in the car, it's just going to be a thing of the past where they will put it down, just drive the car like they are supposed to. one of the other things that we also did was we ban cell phones from teenagers. again, i think that that is something we have to continue. all of these bills i think led up to me being able to get the text messaging bill passed. because what i will tell you is there is opposition to this bill. i had opposition in the house. now nobody filed opposition, but yet i had to seven votes against the bill in the house. we have said no vote in the senate and seven present votes in the senate as well. now a lot of people got up and spoke against the bill on the house floor, which amazed me because when you're looking at
the analysis, not a single person was opposed to the. where is this opposition coming from. i still have been able to find out. but not one person presented a good argument on why we should not pass this bill. i mean, some of the arguments were it's because in our bill is a primary stop, and i think in order to be affected, in order to stop text messaging while driving, it has to have some teeth. so being a primary stop, being a moving violation, that may deter people from doing it. in chicago, we have a cell phone than. is not -- it is a primary stop but it is not a moving defense. nobody pays attention to it because if they get stopped and is a $50 fine. people mail it in and it is not a big deal. but if we make it a moving violation, guess what, you're going to lose your license. you may have a possibility of going to jail. and that was what happened on
the house floor. that was the biggest concern. people kept asking me questions like do you really think we need to make it a moving defense? do you really think people should lose their license for text messaging? and my answer is quite frankly absolutely yes. if you want to stop text messaging and you want to try and make the roads of the bit safer, you need to have a bill that has some teeth in it. so that is my take on it. and the other thing that really helped i think get this bill passed was secretary white formed a task force for this as well, and we met the same thing across the state all summer long. had everybody possible on this committee that could give us some insight. and when it introduced that resolution on the house floor and it passed the house and the floor unanimously, that they wanted to form this task force, we wanted to find out about
distracted driving, what can we do to make our roads safer. but when i brought the bill to the floor, there were still people that voted against it. i kept asking them, look, you voted for the resolution to study the effects of distracted driving. now we are here with an answer. and you want to vote against it. that baffled me and apple a lot of other people. and i think that actually wound up winning some support on our side. we need to also work with the press, because the press was very instrumental in helping us get a lot of these bills passed. because i want to show you this. i was at a community meeting, and there were some people up there, there were quite a few people actually that were opposed to the text messaging bill. and all he did was ask the one person that stood up. i said do you see this article in the sun-times, it is basically a picture of a guy text messaging and driving.
i gave the photos to the gentleman and i guess it can you tell me what you see here. and he says, you know, it's somebody text messaging and driving. i took the picture way from him and all it asked him, can you tell me the car in front of you, what kind of car it is, what koen de kort is, where it's at. he could answer one question. because you are focused on the phone. your eyes are not on the road. and you know what? he politely sat down and i never heard from him again. [laughter] >> that was pretty nice. so one of the things we also need to do with our law-enforcement. i know that one of the suburbs in my community, not that i represent, a little bit north of me, they're going to be doing an undercover sting, january 1 where they're going to have i think four or five suburbans driving around with policemen in their, actually pulling up next to people if they are testing the will pull them over and give them a ticket. and i think that's great because once the word gets out that
there actually pulling people over and getting people take it for. just like the seatbelt law, it's going to be effective. people are going to put the phone down. and just buy the car like you're supposed to. so thank you for having me here today. i look forward to our discussion. [applause] >> our next speaker is broussard, for more than. bruce starr is a native oregonian and he is stronger than committed to public service and he has been serving in the straight senate in oregon since 2002. he was reelected in 2006. and before that, he served two terms in the oregon house of representatives and a four year term at the hillsboro city council. e. kearney served as vice chair of the oregon senate business and transportation committee and a member of the joint in committee on transportation and
economic development. he is chair of the national conference of state legislatures service transportation act reauthorization working group and is a member of the national conference of state legislators executive committee. we would like to welcome was here. thank you. >> good morning. i am pleased to be here and i appreciate secretary lahood and the department of transportation, including legislators and our perspective on this very important summit on distracted driving. i think as a legislator on the panel with strong ties to the national conference of state legislators, i feel compelled to defend the role of state legislators in our federal system of government. state legislators have had and will continue to play an important role in this critical discussion and policy debate. we have legislative leaders from the topic here on the panel this morning. motor vehicle laws are under the purview of the state and these issues have been and will continue to be debated and conda
put in state capitals across the country. there are 50 independent states, who are elected by their constituents to represent the interest in those states. and 41 to believe that state legislators across the country will act on this issue and a monolithic one size fits all fashion, i think is a place to the reality of what happens at stake out of across the country. i think each state will address these issues in a form and fashion that best addresses the differences and challenges that resonate in each state. i want to give kind of a real quick snapshot of what has happened in state legislation over the last few years. distracted driving is not a new issue for state legislators. in 2001, there were 140 distracted driving bills that were introduced and debated and 43 different states. and eight state in 2001 pass laws. mostly laws requiring studies. over the years, the level of distracted driving legislation
has remained fairly consistent. every state at some point has debated cellphone restriction legislation. currently, california, connecticut, new jersey, new york, oregon, washington and d.c. have hands-free laws in place. 17 states, plus the district of columbia, have a past texting dance. seven states have teen only texting dance. 17 states plus d.c. prohibit school bus drivers from using cell phones were operating the bus. 21 states plus d.c. prohibit new drivers from using cell phones while behind the wheel. just this year in 2009, 202 bills were up for consideration and 46 states. that's up from 112 bills and 33 states last year in 2008. so far, this year 20 bills have passed in 13 states. including arkansas, colorado, illinois, maryland, north carolina, tennessee and
virginia. though states have all passed texting ban. arkansas, colorado passband on teen texting on my state we passed the handheld ban. connecticut passed legislation allowing numbers of the armed forces to use hand-held phones while driving. illinois, texas enacted laws banning cell phone use in schools of virginia passed a bill prohibiting school bus drivers from using cell phones. again, these are lost just passed this year. the louisiana house passed a resolution asking the department of transportation and the department of public safety to study the use of cell phones that as a heard yesterday, senator diamond from the state of maine passed
senate bill 15 creating a broad distracted driving law. clearly, there is momentum on the texting laws. it's not surprising that the best data and research available is specific to this particular issue. i appreciate and applaud the attention that secretary lahood and key members of the united states in an condors are paying to this important issue.
i believe it is important to remember the federal government can't force state access on the side of issues that we need to address this issue with partners. i was pleased to hear our senators this morning talked about the partnership. threatening sanctions such as withholding 25 percent of federal highway aid or to states that don't enact certain policies is certainly using the stick. that's a really big stick. rather than the carrot approach. i would encourage the secretary and the congress to use state legislators as partners and create an incentive path to nationwide
application of distracted driving laws. again, i would encourage and i heard senator menendez use the word incentive this morning. this is the most constructive direction to take with state legislators. having expressed with colleges across the country from many states, the words like federal mandate and federal sanctions do not play well.
having the congress demonstrate tough love as we heard yesterday is not the kind of direction that leads to instruct and i passed. we had examples of relationships that have worked well and it was again mentioned this point by senator pryor. the relationship around safety belts. again, it is an incentive-based process but we had examples of offenses that have entered out so well and would point to, i would consider the fiasco over real i.d. so there is an approach i think that we can get things done. and there is as well a key important processes that each of these levels of the government might take and play. one of the most important roles i believe that the federal government can have in this conversation is the one surrounding research. as we heard yesterday there are significant gaps i believe in the research. i believe the federal government can't continue to commission independent, non-biased sites based research to provide policy state and at the federal level to help us to ride the
appropriate response is. policymakers have hard data, real numbers related to the number of lives that would be saved by enacting primary seat belt laws. these numbers come through, have come to research funded by federal agencies in a number of stakeholder groups. unfortunately, it's difficult to tell legislators, myself included, how many crashes will be prevented by passing a cell phone ban, or a texting ban on vehicles that we don't have a hard data. we have studies and i believe there are good studies. we heard yesterday that using cellphone raises the risk of a crash but beyond that there is little else. this is a key role the federal government can play in helping fill the gaps in research. in addition to that, i think there is an important partnership that can be forged on education but again a common thing that we heard from our u.s. senators this morning. and yesterday we saw that kind of example of partnership where you had the private sector working together with government to help educate americans and a
teenage particular about the dangers of texting while driving. education is a key component of any kind of campaign to change texting behavior of american drivers. state and federal government partnering with stakeholder groups on education can make a significant impact on driver behavior. again, i would point to the huge benefits and successes we've had in safety belts. again, it was commented on this morning. next technology. technology is both the villain and i believe the savior in this discussion. technology is causing at least a portion of the distracted driving crashes in america today. it is clear though that technology will be the solution to many of those crashes in the future. i believe that congress could provide incentives for the private sector to rapidly deploy new safety technology. i think that is something that ought to be done and i think
relatively easy accomplished. i'm pleased by the willingness of the private sector associations and their member companies to work together to implement the next generation of technology while at the same time helping to educate americans and american youth particularly about the increased use of inappropriate increased risk of inappropriate use of technology in vehicles today. finally a one size fits all solution mandated by the federal government rarely works as legislators work to craft legislation that fits the vagaries of each of our states. to conclude i believe that state legislators are ready to work as partners with members of congress, the united states senate, secretary leavitt and the many stakeholders better in this room. a constructive relationship that recognize our common goal of reducing crashes and fatalities on our nation's highways. i believe that is critical to our long-term success. i appreciate your attention this morning. [applause]
>> our next speaker is representative steve farley. steve barr is a state representative from the arizona state legislator for district 28, tucson. users a policy leader for the house democrats. he is ranking member of the transportation committee and member of the ways and means committee. importantly from my perspective, he is the founder of the southern arizona transit advocates and he was one of the first legislators in the country to introduce legislation in january 2007 to ban driving while texting. just to show that legislators and the transit advocates can have multidimensional lives, i think it's important point out that steve barr is also a nationally recognized artist. he is recognized for his large-scale tile and art projects involving individuals come commuters and nonprofit groups across the country. so please welcome steve farley. [applause]
>> thank you so much. i really want to thank the secretary for inviting me here today, and it is truly an honor and a privilege to be among so many well-informed colleagues. all of whom know that this is an issue that is absolutely vital to be dealt with. but that doesn't necessary mean that it is easy to come up with a ban on something as dangerous as texting while driving, which we are dealing with a very libertarian legislator. in arizona we do think a little bit differently. we tend to do things that get us mention on the daily show on lott. [laughter] >> remember that piece that ed helms did in 2004 about a proposed bill to allow guns in bars? i don't know if your memories in that one. he interviewed a state rep who equated the constitution to the rulebook of golf in the process of doing that.
we actually pass that bill this year over the loud objections of most bar owners and most of the drinking public. and if you want to bring your gun to a bank or a day care center, you're free to do that to and the bank in day care center can't do anything about that. that lodges went into effect yesterday. traffic safety for humans has never been a big legislative priority in arizona. [laughter] >> in fact, it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained dog in your pickup bed but it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained child in your pickup bed. there is no primary seat belt laws. there is no booster seat for any kids older than five. and there are plenty of us who tried to pass these laws, and in most cases they said they do not get hurt. there are few reasons for this. in arizona ideology often trumps pragmatism, and the majority party moderates are too often seem in their primaries. traffic safety laws have to
contend with committee chairs who refused to hear bills from people they disagree with. and it's not that arizona legislators are against traffic safety. it's just that on the continuum of public safety versus individual rights, the arizona legislator majority tends to come down on the right side most of the time and. there are important exceptions. on the driving while texting that i worked very closely with a senior republican senator named tom o'halloran in 2008 and he was defeated later in his republican primary by a much more conservative challenger. and that's often what happens when people work across the aisle. however, things may be changing. the public regards of ideology or party background do support traffic safety legislation. and they realize we have new challenges to meet. they want all the political patterns change in or to what's right for people of arizona. 87 percent of arizonans in statewide polls won a outright
ban on driving while texting. here are three stories of attempts to ban driving while texting in arizona. in genoa 2007, i raised the issue, introduce bill 2129. the chairman of the house transportation committee refused to hear, refused it to her by any other committee. it died. immediate attention cranked up. i will talk about that accident a little bit later. in 2008, i gained some new allies. i introduce bill 2396, again the same chair refused to hear, and hear it on another committee. but i was able to find a germane bill that happened to be on the senate bill that had all regards to the house and would have to go to the committee with that chair. i managed to get bipartisan support from enough senators to be able to put that amendment to amend the texting on that bill
on the floor. and there was strong opposition. one of the senator's isa introduce 105 amendments to try to kill it. some of his amendments were banning everything from talking to your kids to everything else and being able to make that a felony. so there was a lot of absurd and argued for an out there for those of you who know latin. and actually what happened was the senate president and the senate leadership are so poor by by the idea that i had the vote because i killed all of his amendments, that they stop debate in the middle of debate and never restarted which is against senate will take your not supposed to do anything else until you restart it. but they went ahead and did it so it died. i actually have support from the cell phone industry at the time of that bill. this past session, i introduced the same bill, same results with my bill, but a conservative
republican senator introduced by bill without telling the. and later in the session he got it passed the committee. i asked him what i found that it was going through, would you like some help on and i really want to work with you. he said no, i want to work by myself. it died on the senate floor. likely, that particular member said he might be willing to work with the next you. i am looking forward to that i think we will get it done because in part, this type of publicity is going over very well in arizona. let me go to the next slide. here's an example of how much we have to do with him at the ideological opposition. go to the first. this is a quote here, and we've heard this argument used against laws in arizona. who do you think said this about banning driving while texting just last month? yes, that is the current director of the governor's office of highway safety. i spoke with him last week that he says he understands the issue
better now than when he made that statement that he may be changing his mind. so we will see. hopefully, this argument, this group will help. another popular argument against driving while texting is we've got to darned many laws. and this is from the chairman of the house transportation committee, the same guy that has refused to hear any of these traffic safety laws. but perhaps some new laws to be to be enacted in response to technology. guess who led the drive to preserve a new law requiring all dui offenders of pointed it right or above to install interlock devices? the same person. so he made that state went to the laws but in some cases he sees importance. and i see opportunity there. so maybe i just the opportunity because i'm a democrat in the arizona legislation. [laughter] >> the next slide, please. this first argument here is an
argument that we see a lot. it says we can't single out texting, that every other distracting as they did equally dangerous. and it is important to realize that this virginia tech study puts a nail in the coffin of that argument. when you're 2300% more likely to be an argument when you're texting. that is a whole not a universal. another argument many opponents bring up the argument that you can't enforce the law. regarding this particular quote that says most taxing drivers don't display their cell phones within sight of passing cops. i'm not sure how large it can be to passing cops if you're absorbed in texting. i think it is a very difficult thing to be watching. if you are your driving pretty well anyway. although most of us i do have a little cop in our head that
tells us what to do and what not to do, and a law strengthens that cop. next slide. way do have some powerful allies. victims families are some of the most powerful. the people who have suffered the ultimate consequences are dedicated, credible spokespeople. i was called the day after his yacht to go and that's her picture up there, was killed in a head-on collision pretexting driver. he told me he wanted to dedicate his life to obtaining a driving while texting man in her memory. city councils are reported after my first bill was not hurt in following the immediate of the city in which state was guilty of the phoenix city council moved with my help to enact a citywide ban on driving while texting. several other counties have since followed suit. next slide. than me are important also. this was a first headline i got on the bill. sort of a backhanded compliment i guess. they start out cynical, and then
once in august we had that accident, a whole series of accidents, june, july, august, across the country create a firestone. just last month, the arizona republic editorialize strongly in favor of a man. indicated each of these immediate hits, the word that driving while texting is dangerous penetrated more deeply to the public potentially stopping people from doing it in the first place. the next slide. the aaa and other organizations have been helpful, those who see firsthand the victims of auto items have been speaking out. they are very credible. insurance companies are recognizing the risk. wireless cubbies are coming for. verizon was very helpful to me and they brought onboard sprint and at&t to support my band starting in 2008. next slide. and just to wrap it up, i will end with a few lessons i learned on this long strange trip. don't give up your bum out of
the roadblocks to look for those who are also committed to the cause. use the media. there's one problem. this is one problem. passing the ban is one means of ending the goal of, this goal of driving while texting. still don't make any assumptio assumptions. reach out to expect allies and be creative. we are saving lives here. we've got to keep up the fight. and thank you for everything you're doing to save lives. [applause] >> thank you, steve. our next speaker is major david sammon of the new york state police. major sammon has been with the police for 28 years. in 2000 he was promoted to captain and a sight to the traffic services director what he was in cement and a limitation of enforcing the first banning state law banning the use of handheld cell phones. in march of 2000 he was promoted
to his current position as the director of traffic services where he manages all traffic safety programs for the new york state police and including commercial vehicle and enforcement programs. he is an active member of the international association of chiefs of police and has leadership position of several other law enforcement organizations. so please welcome major salmon. [applause] >> good morning. i would like to begin by thanking the administrator broke off, secretary lahood and the u.s. department of transportation for their leadership in addressing this growing threat to traffic safety. and for the opportunity to represent law enforcement in this discussion. as a member of highway safety committee of the international association of chiefs of police, i can say that we very much appreciate being a voice at the table. in fact, i will be leaving today to fly to denver, colorado, for the national conference of the where the committee will be
meeting. so i would like to offer the assistance of the iac highway safety committee to all of you as we attempt to formulate appropriate and effective measures to improve traffic safety. as a director of traffic services for the newark state police iowa city agencies traffic safety programs and was involved in the planning and implementation for enforcement of the nation's first law prohibiting use of handheld phones while driving. it was enacted in 2001. since then we have witnessed tremendous proliferation across the entire mobile technologies industry. including widespread use of text messaging, gps, minicomputers. and we should expect that with popularity and variety of these devices, we will continue to expand in the future. so i submit to you that from a traffic safety standpoint, we should not limit our discussion of distracted driving to cell phones and texting. because doing so will only
ensure that any medications to ride arson and acquitted or in need of amendment. in fact, in 2001 in response to calls for a statewide ban on cell phone use, the new york state police and division of criminal justice services issued a joint policy statement in support of a state law to regulate all types of distracted driving, including but not limited to handheld cellular phones. and earlier this year lawmakers revisited the issue in an attempt to mitigate texting while driving. while these laws are no doubt well intended and have the potential to improve safety, a more encompassing approach to the issue of distracted driving will provide law enforcement and statutory means to prevent tragedies on a far greater scale. . .
>> it's contrary to the somewhat widespread public perception that the law enforcement in new york turned the blind eye to cell phone use. by and large, the enforcement is done on routine patrol, in the course of the office's duties. without significant enforcement campaigns and media attention since the first year. the effectiveness of all that enforcement, and improving safety has been difficult to assess, because of the continual growth in cell phone use during the same period. nonetheless, the effort is not effective enough.
cell phone use continues to be widespread on new york highways. this is also true of nearly every major traffic threat, including speeding and others. that does not mean the police officers failed. enforcement set a record high last year. in careen years, it has become clear that the holding the phone and chatting is not the only traffic safety threat to evolve. in responsing with our state legislature earlier this year enacted a new portable electronic devices law which beginning november 1st which will prohibit the use while operating a vehicle in motion. unfortunately, it includes a secondary enforcement provision. requiring another law violation to occur before it can be enforced. which will certainly limit a police officers ability to stop the very behaviors that legislators deem danger enough
to warrant the law in the first place. in my 30 years of experience in law enforcement, it has been my observation that certain elements greatly effect whether traffic laws will be enforced vigorously. there are mechanical elements of the statutes themselves, such clarity and enforceability. if a law is not clear or if it requires police officers toal lie numerous elements, the sum of which equal the violation, the law will not be enforced well. there are also operatal elements that affect, including elements. if the officer personally believes something is dangerous, as well as illegal, he or she is likely to enforce that law. and organizational priority. if enforcement as a statute is organization value priority, meaning police leadership whether the sergeant, sheriff, or chief, officers will usually respond. i'd like to draw from those elements and from my experiences in law enforcement in general, and with new york's current laws
to provide some information that i think might serve the purposes of this summit. first, as i said when i began this morning, technology is everchanging. it's merely an element of the broader issue of distracted driving. i caution against not dealing with the larger issue, as it will lead to a course of perpetual legal amendments. what is needed instead is the statutory authority to stop and cite drivers for a wide variety of behaviors which negatively impact traffic safety. such would keep up with technology, while conveying to driver that the while the vehicle is in motion, driving must be their soul function. secondly, one needs to look no further than the history of restraint to learn that secondary enforcement laws don't work. they convey to the police and
the broader public that the prohibited behavior either isn't really that dangerous or isn't really that important. study after study has shown that safety belt use in states with secondary lags well behind that in primary enforcement states. this is why some states are now amendmenting their secondary to allow primary endorsement. lives are at stake. they need the authority to halt behaviors that letten safety. whether officers are required to sit back and wait for another event to happen first. that creates by itself a dangerous risk for others who may be on the road. or worse yet, the citation is issued after the crash has occurred. leading the officer helpless to prevent the incident. significant safety threat those as a long history, such as speeding or impaired driving require continual 365 day a year
emphasis across all law enforcement. and not short-lived campaigns. whether the focus is speeding, drunk driving, seat belt enforcement, or distracted driving, the law enforcement calendar is becoming full of special enforcement period to the point that it may soon be considered a special detail. while major campaigns like click it or ticket it has been extremely effective, that model must be exemployed selectively, and with the full support of law enforcement. law enforcement has a broad range of responsibility. including drugs, gangs, safe schools, street violence, homeland security, and the list goes on and on. we can't lose perspective of that when we attempt to address on the individual basis. we must think on the road who is of course the one who makes the difference. when he or she perceives as what's the flavor of the week,
we may get some enforcement now and then, but we lose commitment to the 24/7 which will improve safety. that being said, it's my belief that highly successful wave enforcement campaigns such as click it or ticket it owe much of their success to the financial incentives to that allow the police incentives to participate. along with the social ills, also comes the financial burden of complementing the programs. and if congress or state legislators or the governor's highway safety reps expect heightened enforcement or awarness that happens by getting more on the road and more messages to the public. that means funding. i certainly don't way to say law enforcement is pay to play activity. however, when running the police department, school, or household, it is priority to one
that is not. whether it's sergeant, it will likely be embraced by the officer on the road also. hopefully i've covered the issues of enforcement in general, as well as our experiences with the handheld cell phone law, as well as the portable electronics law coming up november 1st. i'd like to offer my personal assistance to you as together we grapple with the hazards presented by distracted driving. ultimately, whether or not your state has legislative provisions regarding distracted driving behaviors, law enforcement deals with the rate reality of the behavior on a daily basis. we appreciate being part of the discussion of the issue. and how to best address it. thank you. [applause] >> our final panelist this morning before we go to questions and answers is
bernan. -- vernon. he's been active which is how he rose to the chairman of the vhsa, and importantly, he brings not only a breath of experience on the enforcement side and the state leadership side, but i was going to share with some the associations observations as what has been happening in several states. thanks. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it's a pleasure to be here. i want to, like everyone else, thank secretary lahood for putting this summit together. and bringing the national attention to highway safety that it deserves. yesterday we heard a lot about
the epidemic, and someone mentioned it today. how distracted driving is epidemic. the death and injury is truly an epidemic. it's a public health and public safety issue. it's so refreshing to see that we're receiving the national attention that we deserve for the highway safety initiatives. i know a lot of you are involved in those highway safety partnerships, and are real stakeholders in highway safety. it's a pleasure also to announce that if you were listening to the tv this morning, or reading the paper, you saw that maryland's texting law went into effect. we're very proud of that. we're proud to be part of the movement to ban texting in the nation. and just to give you a little background on who the governor's highway safety association is, we're a nonprofit organization. we focus on the behavioral highway safety issues.
we represent the 50 state highway safety offices, as well as the four territories -- excuse me, the four territories, district of columbia and puerto rico as well. of course with the programs, distracted driving is one the ones that come to thes forefront. can we get to the next line please? we received a little bit of attention lately on our policy as in regards to the distracted driving. and at our meeting in september, we met as a unit in savannah, and we looked at the distracted driving policy that the organization had. we made some changes. one the changes was the membership recommended that we go for a national ban on texting, and that's what we did. so we strengthen our policy by doing that. but we also have a part of our
policy. we ask that no one uses electronic devices while they are operating a america, no matter what type of motor vehicle. we haven't said we wanted a total ban. just we recommend that people take a personal responsibility and don't use those electronic devices while they are driving and take their eyes off the roadway. we are also in the favor of the novice driver, school bus van, and we also favor employer policies. it's a personal responsibility of a employer too to be looking out for it's employees, and to take it on as a customer policy as well. so that they are protecting not only their employees but the folks that are going to be coming into their businesses and organization and buying their products. if their employees are out there, and they are not paying attention to what they are doing, they are a danger to the
other motoring public. we've heard today some comments across the state, we know that more than 200 bills over 2009 into 43 states. and that the amount of states that have passed the texting laws, and the ones that have the hands free exemptions or the school bus or novice driver bans. there are also some existing laws out there. having a background in law enforcement, i know -- this yesterday was the 36th anniversary of myself going to the maryland state police academy. and i -- i can remember that prior to safety belt laws and so forth when we were patrolling the highways, there was still distracted the driving. there's still penalty of different things that were going on. but distracted driving laws didn't exist.
but negligent driving laws existing. failing to drive within a single lane. stop sign violations, with red light violations, they all are there. and for those states that don't have a distracted driving law, o texting ban, a cell phone ban, the law enforcement can use existing laws to enforce some of those behaviors. the days where people were putting on makeup and eating, and not driving within their lane. they may not have been on cell phones. those things still continue today. there's been exacerbated by the different electronic devices that we have seen come forward in recent years. and next item. and some of the legislative challenges that we face, we heard about that before. that it's very difficult to legislate our way out of an issue, out of an problem. and we need to make sure that whatever laws are passed that those laws are enforcible.
and that we can use our law enforcement to enforce those laws, and that we won't get a public disobeseness of laws that are not enforceable. and i think we've seen that in the past. how many people have speeded down the highway? uh-huh. not you. huh? [laughter] all right. we have one true good soul in the room. but, you know, that there are laws that just don't get enforced. people don't obey them. we don't want the distracted driving laws to become that way. we don't want the texting bans or cell phone bans to fall into that cal category. and i compliment the new york state police. that's quite accomplishment to get 8% of your citations. that doesn't happen overnight, it happens because of leadership. i applaud their leadership for taking a stand and making that a
priority. distraction is definitely something that is causing the crashes. so they notice that, and they are taking advantage of it. and they are making sure that the troopers are enforcing the law. and next slide please. you know, one thing that we're very clear -- is very clear that has come out of this summit is that we don't have all of the answers. there are certainly a lot more that we need to know. and the research and data in the future can certainly help us do that. and we need to continue in that research. and we feel that putting together a systemic comprehensive approach to this highway safety issue is where we need to go. it can't just be peace male, stove piped, it needs to be comprehensive way of doing things. the research will help us certainly start that. and also the data. there's 29 states and one territory that have adopted muck. you remember that muck is?
the model minimum crash guide criteria. and in muck, there are two fields, one more inattention, and one more distracted. and those data elements are used to help with the highway safety programs. what the problem is that, and you might find this hard to believe. but people don't always tell the truth. when you go to investigate a crash, and you say were you on a cell phone, no, you wasn't on a cell phone. i can remember investigating the crash where the wind shield was broke, the guy had visible injuries, i said did you have your seat belt on? yeah, i did. okay. we also need to legislation. we need the model legislation that everyone talks about. we need the primary enforcement has to be there, the laws have to be enforcible. if we're going to make any kind
of headway, the laws have to be enforcible. with enforceable, it's comes the jew indication. when the judicial side doesn't support our law enforcement officers in finding folks guilty, they are going to be apathetic as well. we found that not only with impaired driving and other laws. this could be another place where the apathy of the court roles over into law enforcement. we want to make sure that doesn't happen either, and that we can carry forward and get things done. with any highway safety program, there has to be a good education program. but if we invest in education program, public information, education, we need to have very strong enforcement. and we know that high visibility enforcement campaign couple with a good public information and education campaign, that is well funded, that is well planned works. we've seen it with protection, we've seen it with impaired
driving it. it will work. we certainly hope that when the plans are made, as we move forward, that the funding is adequate. and captain salmon said the same thing. the funding has to be adequate. not just for enforcement, but for the public education cane. and we want to be careful that we are investing, and not leaveing other programs. it's been a pleasure to be here and speak with you. i look forward to the discussion. and thank you, all, very much. >> well, thank you. we've got a bit of time for some questions. just as a reminder, we have microphones at both ends of the room. we'll also be taking questions from our watchers on the web. so why don't i just start with with you, sir. go ahead. >> good morning. my name is bob green.
i run a program called survive the drive for high school groups. i'll be looking for you off on the parkway. thank you very much. something i find misses from this program is in 1999, i was on add vice recommittee on graduated licensing. it's a decade later, and we've had almost 400,000 fatalities in that length of time. 400,000, when we're developing new research model, they are dependent on a certain amount of fatalities and injuries in that time. but the big thing i find misses here is there's no reference to the world health organization and the united nationsed, and their advisories from the last four or five years. they have comprehensive and strategies, and information where they have put together a compendium of information on the
worldwide health problem here. they project that traffic injuries anaphia theyals will become the leading cause of death on the planet, third leading cause of death by 2020. and so there's a bigger, larger global situation here. but i would like to see some reference to these worldwide incentives in terms of what the united states is doing. thank you. >> i'll take your observation. but i'm not sure i heard a question. i'm going to go to the next question. go ahead. >> hi. i'm david teeter. thank you for all of the work that's going on in oregon. i think the state has made a lot of great progress. but i heard you mention the hard data issue. and we talked about it earlier about how difficult it is to
accurately collect crash data. and in fact, i remember my old research training. i was told that bad data is worse than no data because we make bad decisions based on inaccurate data. we have a tremendous amount of research that distracted driving is very bad, especially as it pertains to cell phones. probably over 50 to 100 studies. we don't have good accident data. and won't for probably many, many years. is that going to be a huge barrier to get the states laws past. it feels like we shouldn't have to hurt and kill a bunch of people to prove something is bad. and one additional question, then i'll pass the mic. i struggle a little bit with this issues of sanctions versus of incentives. i'm new to this business. i'm learning. i also heard you say it's not a good way to work with states in the sanctions. then the very next presentor talked with what's happening in arizona, my rational is how can
we get things done without a sanction? can we talk about that more and where those stands? thank you. >> certainly. the -- i think the data that we've seen, you know, on the conference yesterday as it relates that texting is clear. that's why you see the momentum on the texting issue. but the 23 times 23% -- 23 times number that we heard yesterday is clear. i think that's why you're going to see significant movement on texting. you've already seen it. if there's a state law that's moving faster than anything else, it's texting. and i expect that will continue. i expect legislators across the country will enact anti-texting laws. but i will tell you that just the based on my own experience that when the federal government mandates certain things, there
are certain states, arizona might be one of them, purely because of the federal mandate, get their hack thed up, and say those folks in washington, d.c. think they know everything about everything. we are representative for our folks. that's where you get this attention between the state and the federal governments. i think in this case, the federal government of the alert bill that senate menendez ultimately moves forward. as we talked about today, there's a phase in period. the vast majority of states will move forward. because it's so, to me, it seems so obviously. on the flip side, we've heard a lot of data, a lot of information about the fact that the vast majority of drivers know that using a cell phone while they drive, perhaps, isn't
as safe as not using a cell phone when they drive, and yet the vast majority of drivers continue to use their cell phones. and we as legislators are representing those constituents. and so there's that tension there. i think that if we had better information. and better information about hands free as opposed to holding a phone, i think that would be helpful. it's clear that that's confusion in the data. whether hands free is safer than handheld. i think it would be helpful to have additional data there. but ultimately, this conversation will move forward. i think legislators will be responsive to their constituents. and we've heard the colleagues here talk about creating coalitions, creating allies, finding allies, that's certainly can move the discussion
forward. having real life anecdotes of families that have been impacted has power impact on state legislators. >> steve, did you want to add something? >> yeah, you might be surprised here this given what i said about arizona. i agree with bruce because of the federal mandate. i've seen what happens. i mentioned to that you conservative republican senator introduced by bill intercourse telling me, actually the day that schumer said we want to do a nationwide ban, he said i no longer support a ban or texting. he has changed his mind again. i think we'll be able to get down to it. seriously if you say federal mandate in arizona, they will reach for their gun.
i am very concerned that this is going to setback some of the efforts that i have tried to put into place already. and i'm going to have to work with the people who have been elected, and those people elected, i may not degree with. i do agree we need a nationwide ban. because it is so egregious. i think senator from arizona is another liberal, is not going to help me much in my cause to get it banned in arizona. >> thank you, i want to move around the room in answering questions. i will say this on the tension and not, only because i was aboved in the .08 legislation. steve is correct. i don't doubt it. it's also true that arizona has a drinking age of 21 and .08 blood alcohol content law. the issue on the other side of the sanction challenge has
always been that it's the only thing that's been proven to get national compliance. there's issues on both sides. i want to move around the room. sir, go ahead. >> thank you. i'm a professor at john hopkins. my question relates to the technologies that might become available sofa saltate and help enforcement of bans on texting or cell phone use in automobiles. when we were confronted by the dangers of seat belt, there was this aggregating light that blinked in front of me until i put my seat belt on. that's the case of very simple technology applied for the purpose of enforcement. for drunken driving, we had breathalyzers. now there's a breakthrough in technology specifically for that purpose. and for speeding, of course, we have radar.
which was a technology advanced specifically for that purpose. what potential technology is on the horizon to facilitate bans on texts during automobile driving use? i ask to the entire panel. thank you. >> can i call a friend? no, we have some experts here -- >> this is ron medford. there are a variety of technologies that are capable of detecting distractions of a variety of forms and warning the driver. once you detect it, you can have a various of choices that the vehicle manufacturers or regulators could impose of terms of making it safer. but on the specific issue of cell phone use, there are technologies that are being
developed in some even marketed today that -- where the cell phone has a gps. when the vehicle begins to move, the alga ritzes that are in the phone and can block the cell phone use. we are interested to see what they are, and developing with the use of teenagers. >> let me say, i know we have a representative from some of the companies who are developing those technologies here. and some of them are how to display outside once we break up this session in about 30 minutes. there's -- if you make a left out of the doors and a left again, you'll see some the displays from the factors. i encourage you to look there. i want to take a question from the web. >> some people has said that phone use is a serious of problem as drunk driving. this has been widely reported in the news. do you see the two problems results from your state?
>> well, i can speak for new york that i'll go back to the fact that it's difficult to get the crash data that was mentioned earlier to really address that issue. i can say that we see a lot of crashes, serious crashes that are a result of distracted driving, whether it cell phone, texting, and usually it's those ones that grab the attention of the media and bring it to the attention of everyone. but to really fine tune it to the point where you can say compare it it to driving while impaired with alcohol or drugs because of that lack of crash data, it's very difficult to make that comparison that this time. >> but i think there's no question that the type of impairment that you are under when you are in the middle of the text is similar the type of impairment that you were doing when you were drinking. the only difference is drinking you can look up from your
drinking and see the road clearly again. so it's hard to make that comparison directly with the numbers. but the impairment level while you were doing is the same. i'm hoping there will be more studies. the same people who are strongly opposed to texting ban in arizona, are very strongly in favor of the some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the nation. making that correction is key to be able to have some success. >> yes, sir? >> good morning. thank you. my name is russ fine. i'm a professor of medicine at the university of alabama at bathrooming -- birmingham and director to the only transportation center that has based by d.o.t. in the school of medicine. i want to acknowledge my long, long time friend chuck hurley who is ceo of mothers against
drunk driving whom my wife and i have known for many, many years because we established the first m.a.d.d. chapter in the state of illinois about 25 years ago. my question is for major salmon. and it is based on some of our experience in trying to affect anti-drunk driving legislation. you indicated that new york state has issued thousands of tickets. aside from the offenders who pleaded guilty and sent in their money, among those who have chosen the fight the ticket, and i suspect there has been a substantial number, and among that subset who may have been successful in fighting the ticket, are you aware of the legal theory that they have used in their defense? and i say that in the anti-drunk driving context. because we were astonished during our lengthy experience
with mothers against drunk driving during which my wife became a national vice president. we were astonished with the number of workshops that suddenly spunk up all over the country, teaching defense of drunk driving tickets to defense attorneys. >> i think a very small percentage of those folks who fight a traffic citation go to trial. so i don't think that -- i personally don't have any information on the theory that would be used to get them off. but what i can comment on is that another major player in the enforcement role is the back end of the system. that's the prosecutors, and the adjudication of a ticket. and if we don't get at some point the local justices and the town justices on board and educate them to the dangers of this, they tend to turn a blind eye to these tickets.
and a lot of time we see them dismissed or severely reduced because of the -- largely because of the lack of understanding and knowledge of just what the dangers of this academy is. -- act is. >> i think later chuck hurley might choose to speak to that issue. it took us a long, long time to overcome the inertia that seemed to be reflected in the judicial system. thank you for what you are doing. >> thank you. >> judy? >> that'll judy stone, i'm with add have indicates, i think we have the first team question. david and i realized we were going to ask the same question. i said let's go up together. i did want to say thank you for having the legislative presence here at this conference. it's been great having both the united states congress
representative and these wonderful people from the state legislatures because my organization really believes that we need to do both of those things. as far as the schumer bill is concerned, we support it. and yes, we do support sanctions. that won't come to a surprise. because they work. and it's as simple as this. if you are really interested in getting highway safety laws passed, it's the most efficient way to do it. we might want to think about putting some incentives leading up to the sanction. because they are not in there right now, we did that on .08 and it worked. >> thank you, my name is david snyder, i represent the american insurance association. our association publically announced that on behalf of our association and members, we will make texting while driving a major legislative priority at both the federal and state
levels. we believe firmly that if you look at the the -- history of highway safety, there's a lot of good that's been accomplished. without the efforts of 130 years, instead of 36,000 killed last year, it would have been 150,000. and instead of the millions injured, that number would have been double or tripled. so all of those engaged in highway spate should take a great deal of pride in that. but key and fundamental to our effective work in seat belt, in anti-drunk driving with in fighting the epidemic of teen driving issues, has been legislation. we have found it to be the absolute anchor by which all other public and private sector activities need to be attached and can be effective. whether you are talking about education or technology. let me turn it back to judy with respect to our specific question. >> yeah, we want to ask -- this
is a little show here. >> we are waiting for that team question. >> i know, you are waiting for that team question. it's about a model bill. i've talked to a couple of legislators recently who are not here today who have said please get a model bill. because there have been some provisions that have made it into some of the state laws that maybe shouldn't be there, or some that are there that shouldn't be. would it be helpful for there to be a model of a model law produced by some very smart group of people here at the federal level, and in the states for your work in the state legislator -- legislatures? i ask that of anyone thatments to answer. >> i guess that would be helpful. but the reality is the legislative process works in different forms and fashions. and ultimately, if you are going
to have the individual stamp of that particular state capitol on that law. if there's model legislation that is put together by some safety organization or group or the federal government for that matter, one job it maybe helpful as a starting point for state legislators, and the council offices and our state legislatures. but ultimately, it's going to be crafted that matches with the state and legislature. >> right. >> i agree with what bruce just said. i think the bottom line here is we got to make sure that we get the law passed. whatever is going to be accepted by that state, we have to make sure we with put together, as long as we get the law on the books. that's the bottom line. i think if you come up, i would love to have model legislation. i just don't know if everybody would accept it. i felt like there was a lot of backlash from my legislation in illinois. i felt like that was a pretty
good bill. >> what would really help in arizona if you get all the arizona insurance lobbyist to put this as their first priority, and hammer as hard as this as they have on the tax breaks that they. the of >> we'll work hard on that, guaranteed. >> i did want to mention that regarding the financial sanctions, i know they have worked. and i think they could work. but i think you have to be very careful that when you throw federal mandate sanctions to a ideological-charged legislature, i think politics has changed in many ways since the last time we did the seat belt and the drinking age. and there are people in the leadership position who are total starve the beasters. they have barely concealed right now. it's an important to cut
government down to size. the opportunity to cut as reduce the side of government is something that you are provided an opportunity for people, rather than a sanction that may incentivize them to do something. it could backfire. you saw that even some the stimulus money, some the governors are refusing some of them because of some so-called springs. they wanted to cut it down to size. we have to watch out for that, it's a potential pitfall. >> thank you very much, sir. >> yes. john, i'm with the department of defense safety policy office. and my questions are primarily for mr. starr and vernon. what would be your recommendations for moving forward to get to the other 30 states to enact legislation that is similar to what's already in
place for the 20 states. and the reason is because within the department of defense, we have already prohibited hand health department cell phones and other electronic devices on military. however, our members are not being killed on our installations. they are being killed on the state highways. i'd like your recommendation for the what the next step is for those 30 states. >> i think part of is it the reason why we are hear today. education of the public, i think education of the state legislators as the risk associated with driving while texting. you know, we've got 300 and some odd people in this room representing stakeholders from top to bottom. all it takes is an effort to
communicate the message with state legislators. and you can make things happen. and we heard examples of how it's successfully moved the legislation through the process. and it's about building coalitions and a allies, and friends. and it's about building the momentum to move the legislation. when you hear -- what i've heard since i've been here that you have cell phone companies that are supporting these kinds of moves. when you have insurance company that is are supporting. you are industry members that are supporting the moves forward. those are again brought pretty significant foundation to move legislative front. you know, we've heard triple a mention more than once this n this afternoon. they have representatives in every legislature across the country. and their are consumers. so there's a process that i think you can move forward and get legislation passed. it's going to take effort
sometimes. you know a summit like this elevates to the issue to a degree that maybe hasn't been in the past. and we need to continue the momentum. >> thank you. i'd like to take a web question. >> let me say first that i'd like to say i'm 54 years old. >> happy birthday. [laughter] >> i'm a lot older than that. i am concerned with the discussion with teenage driver and distractions. almost every case of distracted driving that i've observed have been adults. do the speakers acknowledge that the driver distraction problem is not just a problem with teenages but with the wider population. >> i wanted to bring it up.
no one has defined what texting is. we just said texting. i think it isn't just teenagers texting lol. part of the realize i realized is because i first got my crackberry as it's fondly called. those of us who are type a personalities, we really think about all of those e-mails piling up with that thing on our hip just as we're doing that boring two-hour drive because tucson and phoenix. and it's a very powerful thing to make us want to go and do it. i talk to journalist. they have things piling up. it's answering e-mails. i got two e-mail accounts coming in my device. and it's something that's always bothering you. i could arrive at the office, and i wouldn't have all of this work to do. and then something that cop in my head said bad idea.
so it is something that i think is happening at all levels. we saw the triple a with their information yesterday showing it to age levels. this isn't just teenagers. i think the issue is teenagers is they are the most inexperienced they are the least able to multitask if anybody can. we have to focus on that in many ways. but we have to look at everybody across the board. >> i would chime in to point out a couple of things. i was taken in by the discussion of modeling behavior on the part of parents. i will claim some personal guilt over this. my wife and i have busy jobs. we try to get out of town a little early on a friday to try to beat the traffic. we're trying to get on the road. and we're trying to stay on top of business as it closes down on a friday. and we caught each other and slapped our devices out of each other's hands. the whole discussion of modeling yesterday, i still have a son who is four years away from
driving age. but it's not like he's not watching. one really does have to reflect on that. and the other thing i would point out, i can't help myself here. this is good intercity bus service between phoenix and tucson. you can get all of that work done on the bus if you need to. >> can you help me with the rail though? >> we'll talk about it. next please. >> hi, i'm professor of industrial engineering at the university of rhode island. and just to let steve now, i'm into the newest group in arizona. i know exactly what you are talking about. here's the issue. we started studying on distracted driving about eight to ten years ago. we collected videos that are startling. some of them are outside on display, if you've seen the display that shows the driver eye movement. 10 years ago, we could see the
video. i changed my habits, i stopped using my cell phone while driving. so the next part of this is we know that swine flu was identified as the problem last year. this year we have the solution for it. that's one approach to handling an epidemic or a prospective problem. which is med cat community has it. and works very effectively. we don't have that approach for problems like distracted driving, which have been known to be problems for a long time. and are still problems, and we don't have an answer for them. but the question really is the following. we've talked a lot about problems that currently exist. but there are so many problems that are an issue and will come out in time. but we have no anticipated way of addressing them. i'll give an example of this.
for example, you have drunk driving, or legal driving, driving at .08. if you are using a cell phone at .06 what level of anobodyuate are you at? we can wait for a long time for data to come along to say data is a problem. do you see any way forward where we can start anticipating what these problems are going to be? or do we have to wait for the numbers to mile up before we come up with the answers? >> well, i wish there was a way to have a crystal ball and look into the future to see what the next act is going to be. i think the research that you are doing, and your university, and that the research that will continue with many of our different highway safety issues, it's going to help us in the future. and unfortunately, when we try
to move forward to get legislation, legislature in my experience has always asked for the data. show us the data. what does the research tell us? they don't take steps to be proactive in passes laws. they want to know what's happening in the what are the implications to the state? and why they should pass those laws. and maybe our legislatorring could comment on that? >> i think the best thing we can do is educating the public. i know when we as a legislator. when i here from a lot of the people back home in my district that i represent, that makes every one of us act and try to get something done. i know when we did the text messaging bill, there were a lot of problems. but through the help of the media, they were able to educate the public.
and that helps get a loot of support to get the bill passed. -- a lot of support to get the bill passed. >> thank you. we have less than nine minutes left. i want to get to as many questions as we can. >> i'll be quick. i'm from zero fatalities. both of you talked about the need for well-funded education and enforcement program. and i wanted to compare this with drunk driving. i think it's been well documented that texting while driving is comparable to the .08. yet there are a lot of federal incentive grants available for states to run dui programs. what's it going to take for similar programs on distracted driving? >> that's what the summit is about. to see whether or not we can make plans for future funding. that we can do the types of
campaigns for distracted driving. we want to make sure that we look at what we've learned in the past. that is the high visibility enforcement campaign coupled with a good media campaign works. and if we are going to do a campaign with distracted driving, we to have all of the elements of a highway safety program. we can't put it into one particular area. >> that would be a great edition to a schumer-menendez bill. the click it or ticket campaigns, those are the dollar that is are available to highway safety offices, they run fantastic programs throughout the country. so if the federal bill is able to move forward and include those kinds of opportunities, i think that will make a big difference in the states. >> the average driver is trained and tested once in their
lifetime. could distracted driving education be part of a license renewal process and would the more frequent renewal help? >> i think like said as said earlier, the more we can educate, the better it will be be. >> very good. lightning round. >> i'd like to offer a comment and ask a question. for many years individuals in the group and motorcycle community have been working with all levels of government, particularly state legislators to ensure all vehicle operators are held accountable. with all of the recent interest for distracted driving in our state legislators, we believe practical and enforcement laws,
particularly vulnerable such as motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrians. i'm concerned that much of the research and technology discussion paid little or no attention. my question is though do we ensure the motorcycle community has a seat at the table when definitions, research, technology, legislative, regulatory, enforcement, and awareness issues are discussed, and decisions made. e >> i can speak for my state. it's easy. all you have to do is show up. it's a very open process. and motorcycle community in my state is very engaged in the legislative process. you know, you can show up, and make your voice heard. it's a very open public process, at least in my state. >> i can say the same thing in illinois. it was part of our discussion panel. they showed up some of the task force meetings that we had. they always have a seat at the
table. we are always willing to listen. >> and in arizona, one the key has been opposed is also an avid motorcyclist. if you can show up in force. >> we'll do that. thank you. >> my mother was killed by a driver that was painting her nails while driver. she was rear ended and killed at 50 miles per hour. statements have been made about, you know, front end enforcements, how do we cut the issue off at past? but not much has been said about prosecution of offenders in fatality cases. has mandatory permit be opposed as the viable action in fatality cases? senators own words today are what a privilege it is to drive. clearly if someone demonstrates
they cannot operate a vehicle without taking a life, in most situations, only a traffic ticket is issued. in some $1,000 fine and suspended license is considered enhanced penalties. in extreme cases of recklessness, it is rendered. taking a life should be life changing. losing driving privileges does just that. each time the offenders have to take a bus, call a cab, ask for a ride, they have to think about what happened? it effects their lives. my mother will never drive again. she won't see me get married. she will never see her grandchildren. why shouldn't her killers life be changed longer than six months or a year of no driving. what can do to ensure prevention? >> i'm sorry about your -- hearing about your mother. i was familiar with what
happened over there in illinois. currently there is a bill out there that were trying to get passed. to prove negligence. it's hard to get the bill passed because it's hard to prove. we are working on that, representative bill black and myself are the sponsored on the bill right now. there's a, you know, you don't want to just run a bill that's going to get defeated. we want to make sure when we bring it to the house floor it's going to be passed and be effective. >> sir? >> good morning. i'm with the national waste management association. you know, distracted driver raised occupation safety hazards for the workers who work on and near the nation's roads. tow truck drivers, law enforcement personnel, and others are killed every year. michigan earlier this year, passed a novel law that
increased the penalty on striking certain vehicles. i wonder if any of the legislators that are work in are considering enacting certain laws like that. >> we've enacted lots to move over when you have a police officer, or safety officer that has somebody pull ped off. we added toe trucks to that move over the pop si. -- policy. if there's additional things we can do, we do have highway work with the enhanced penalty for speeding, and offices in those zones. if there's more that we can do, we should look at it. >> we also have the same thing in illinois. just recently, they signed a bill which i sponsored that eliminated the use of cell phones in construction, and school zones all together.
>> i just -- i've had some sensitivity to this. i've always been very concerned. the folks that do the sanitation pick up in my neighborhood, it's not just about on the side of highways and local streets folks that are hustling across streets on a regular basis to collect trash or collect recycling. i have to worry about how much training they have, and cognizant they are how folks may not be seeing them, or that they are distracted. that's an important issue. thank you, everyone were for participating. i want to thank our panel. i want to encourage folks to go see the exhibits. it's out the doors and to the left. can i have one more round of applause for all of our panelist. [applause] :
>> tonight, net neutrality, the wireless spectrum and improving broadband service in the u.s. federal communications chairman julius genachowski maps out his goals for the agency on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> the national football league announced recently it would require teams to seek out independent neurologists when evaluating concussion injuries, a shift from policy which allowed team doctors to make the diagnosis. this announcement comes after the commissioner appeared before the house judiciary committee this year. lawmakers compared the league to tobacco companies when it came to conflict of interest issues. we'll have that judiciary
committee hearing for you tonight and wednesday at 9:15 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span. >> thanks giving week on c-span, a look at politics in america from the bipartisan policy center. topics include a look ahead to 2012, what's fair in politics, the role of the media and assessing the obama presidency. also tuesday night the first state dinner as president obama welcomes indian prime minister singh. later in the week, american icons. three nights of c-span original documentaries beginning with the supreme court thursday night. >> now, a group of teenagers discuss the dangers of texting while driving. this is part of a conference on distracted driving hosted by the transportation department. it's about 25 minutes.
>> okay. so we're going to have a break in the sort of pace that we were going before. i'm ron medford, the acting deputy administrator for the department of transportation, and we can see we have a little format here for hearing from our nation's youth about distracted driving. we really have, i think, an entertaining next 30 minutes with ann who's the editor in chief of seventeen magazine who's going to interview three teens on distracted driving. so ann? [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. i'm ann, i'm the editor-in-chief of seventeen magazine. good morning, and good morning to the students and teachers
around the country who are watching this. i am honored to be joining you today live from the u.s. department of transportation's distracted driving summit here in washington d.c. you know where we are. [laughter] this is going to be a bit more casual, a lot more personal than some of the things that you have been chatting about. we're going to put a face to all of the policy that you guys have really been talking about, and we're going to talk directly to teens and young people, the ones, the teens who are driving, the ones who will someday be driving and getting their driver's license and all the responsibilities that come along with that. the reason this is so important for us to be here today talking with teens is because car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens. more than drugs, more than disease, more than guns it's car
crashes. and so it's important to understand that when you're behind the wheel, all of your attention needs to be on the road. text messages and cell phone calls can wait until you've reached wherever you're going. try to imagine one single text message that's as important as losing your life over. one of the things that my readers have said is get a designated texter. [laughter] so here today to help me make this point crystal clear for everyone are three people who, i think, you're going to learn a lot from. reggie shaw and nicole meredith are here to share their stories about what happened when they made the decision to text and drive. and natalie hayford, on the end, is a student activist who's trying to help us all understand the dangers of driving while kiss tracted.
well -- distracted. welcome to everyone. thank you. thanks for being here. so i'm just going to lead a little q&a with our panel here so we can understand what's happening. i want to start with reggie and nicole. reggie, tell us a little bit about what happened with you. >> all right. i'm reggie shaw, i'm now 22 years old. when i was 19, i was living at home with my parents in a small town in northern utah, and one morning i left for work. and on my way to work i made a choice, i made a decision to text and drive, something that i had done before many times before this day. and on my way to work i was sending and receiving text messages when i steered across the center line, and i struck another car. in this other car, there were
two men who were both killed on impact, two men that were fathers, were husbands that cared for their family, wanted the best for them, and because of my choice to text and drive, i took their life. i changed the lives of these families, i changed my life forever, and since then it's been very hard for me. it's been something that i like to speak out about to help make people or help people so they don't make the same, same poor decision that i made. >> tell us a little bit about how your life has changed since the accident. >> my life's changed quite a bit. i mean, on a daily basis this is something i think about all the time. you know, i can't drive down the road and see a car accident, see a car off the side of the road and think about what happened to me, what i did.
since the accident i've been, i've been asked to do a lot. i've gone to a lot of high schools in the utah area, talked to the students there about texting and driving, talked about what that's done to me, how that's affected me, not only that but how it's affected these families, these peoples' lives that i took. and with that i was, was part of a video that can be seen at zero fatalities.com. video kind of profiles this case, what i did and talks to these two families and the other victims in the situation, how it's affected them. you can watch this video and get firsthand look of how it's affected all of us. >> it's a very moving video, just so you get it again, zerofatalities.com. nicole, your experience is a little bit different. in fact, we profiled your story
in seventeen magazine. tell us about what happened to you. >> well, last summer, it was july, it was very late, i was on the way to my friend's house, and i'm sure, like many of you guys, have an iphone, so that's, obviously, touch screen. you can't feel the buttons, so i was texting my friend telling her that i was on my way to her house, and, you know, obviously, you have to look down because you can't, you know -- and i looked down, and i started feeling the car go over something that was not the road. and i looked up, and i was in the median of, you know, of basically a ditch full of grass, and i freaked out, you know, turned the car trying to get back on the road. when you're going 70 miles an hour on the the highway, that doesn't happen, so i spun out.
and after spending, you know -- i broke three barriers on the other side and glass was crashing, i could hear -- it was just terrible noises. i'll never forget, never forget what happened. so -- >> what did you tell your parents about the car accident? >> well, i -- first, i called my friend and said, i crashed my car, freaking out. then i was, like, i have to tell my parents something because they're going to be so mad if i tell them i was teking. because they always told me not to. i told them that a bug flew in my car and i lost control of the wheel, and my mom's an insurance agent, so she says that, oh, that's happened before, so i thought i was good to go for a
while. and i got away with it, and i got another car. but it was really selfish, and it was just really stupid. >> how has that changed your approach to driving now? >> well, now my cell phone usually, i usually put it in where i keep my, you know, change. and usually my cell phone, the text message setting is on silent. not vibrate, no noise, just silent so i don't even know when i get a text message, and i like to keep it that way when i'm driving. i think that a huge problem is everyone, you know, our age thinks that, you know, we're invincible, and we can text. we can do whatever, we can eat, we can call people, we can watch music and everything's fine, but
it's really not, you know? it's really not, and, you know -- [laughter] >> natalie has some great real-life advice for us, but first i want to ask reggie and nicole, why did you think it was okay to text and drive? why did that feel like something that was, oh, no big deal. i can just send a text message? >> for me it was like something i was comfortable with. texting and driving was something i had done many times before, you know? it's no excuse for what i did and the choice i made, but i was never taught, i was never sat down and taught in driver's ed or in school the dangers of it. and also i never really heard of a case where someone had been in an accident from texting and driving. it was just something i'd never heard of. so, to me, i just didn't realize how dangerous it was, kind of, i
guess, ignorant maybe you could say. i should have understood how dangerous it was, but i didn't. i'd never been taught. so i guess for me that's kind of why i thought it was okay just because i didn't understand how dangerous it really was. >> nicole? >> for me i completely knew it wasn't okay. i mean, my dad always told me don't text and drive, don't do anything, you know, don't even listen to your music loud, and i was like, oh, whatever, i just got my license, you know? it's cool. i can do whatever. they're not in the car with me anywhere. and so -- anymore. and so pretty much, i don't know, it's -- >> you never thought it would happen to yousome. >> i never thought it would happen. i had been texting five years prior to driving, so it was kind of, like, second nature to, oh, you know, i text every day. i text all the time. i text so fast it's not a big deal. and then just completely changed. >> have your friends learned from your experience?
>> to be honest, i don't think so. i really don't. i think a lot of people just, a lot of people that follow magazines thought it was more, oh, you know, nicole's in seventeen magazine. look at her picture, you know? but no one read the story. >> we got a lot of letters from readers who did read your story, and it really resonated with them. we did your story for a reason. >> no. yeah, the people who i would show were like, oh, that's so cool, your in seventeen. because i showed it to mostly guys, and seventeen's not a guys' magazine. [laughter] >> sorry, guys. >> but i had told a lot of friends that do very, you know -- >> yeah. i mean, reggie, your story's so dramatic. has it changed your friends' behavior? is there one takeaway that you want your friends to remember from your story? your peers? >> yeah, i mean, it's definitely changed a lot of my friends, how
they drive. not only that, but a lot of people in my local community have kind of seen how it's affected me, how it's affected my family and just that, just simply seeing how it's affected us has been enough for them to want to put their phones away when they drive. so, yeah, i mean, ultimately i think that my situation has helped people understand how dangerous it is. >> natalie, you are a student activist with the minnesota chapter of students against destructive decisions. do the people that you talk to, do your friends, do your classmates get how dangerous driving while distracted is? >> i think a lot of teens in my school are just like them, they think that it won't happen to them, but it's not -- that it's not wrong, and they're better at doing it because they hold the phone up, and they're still looking at the road. but at some point they still have to take their eyes off the road and look at their cell
phone even to read the text message they're receiving. and our chapter has really focused on making that something that you shouldn't do, putting your phone away, turning it off, putting it on silent isn't lame, it's something that is actually fun or something. we created a rap that the teens really enjoy, just something that makes it cool to not text and drive, you really have to change the mind sets of teens. >> you had said earlier that making it fun was really important to you. what are some of the ways that you can make this fun? >> we've created a campaign called get the 411 on teen drivers where we created tag lines for the teen driving laws that apply to the teens, and it's in teen language so that it's something creative and fun for them. we created raps, as i said, that are, like, texting while driving is a crime, and we have children
with your seat belt which are huge hits of something that's interactive that the teens are going to enjoy. if they enjoy something, it'll stick with them more than something they hate, and they might actually listen to it then. >> what were some of the -- tell me again, you said some really cute rhymes, not that you have to rap for all of us here in the audience -- [laughter] but tell me, there was some really cute rhymes that i thought really sort of stuck. >> we created tag lines for the laws. minnesota has a no texting while driving law where we created a tag line that's dude, just drive, so it's in texting language. minnesota also has a passenger limit law for teen drivers. for the first six months one teen driver may only have one passenger, so we created the tag line get the 411 on the 116 which is one teen driver, one teen passenger for the first six months. and then for the curfew for the first six months teens may not drive between midnight and 5
a.m. so we have 12 and 5, safe to drive. and the rap that was chillin' with your seat belt. >> there are so many other ways you can be distracted while driving, your friends in the back of the car, the radio, you want to change the radio, your phone rings, the windows are open, it's late at night, there's things happen, you see cute guys, oh, that guy's cute over there, there's so many ways that you can be distracted, so i think that's very impressive that you've summed up how to tackle every single one of those aspects. because our time is limited i wanted to take a few questions, but we've reached out to some teens to find out what they wanted to know from our panel, and i have some, i have some questions here. there's a group here in the audience, ttyl, which is text
for talk to you later, and they're from parkland, florida. and they submitted a question. we're from ttyl, a group from parkland, florida, promoting awareness against texting and driving. we've discovered that many of our peers believe they can multitask and don't believe that texting and driving is dangerous. does the panel have any suggestions on how to get this message across to teens? nicole, do you want to start? >> yeah. i don't know if any of you guys saw the british psa with, you know, the really intense texting and driving commercial. i know that it's really graphic, but i know that that probably got a lot of attention, you know, in europe. so i think -- >> you can see it on youtube -- >> yeah, on youtube, on the internet. that's where i saw it. and i think that we just need a lot more in our faces, like, we need to know what the actual
cause of texting and driving can do whether it be graphic or not, that shouldn't matter, you know? like, i don't really think -- people need to know how serious it is, and i think that should be aired more on commercials and, you know, videos and -- >> something so dramatic, you're talking about graphic. little boy, you said. >> yeah, it is. it's very gory, but i think that really got everyone's attention whenever they saw it, so i think that's really important. and i don't think that we should be scared to put that on tv because it's real. and just seeing that could change someone's perspective. so -- >> remy, you -- reggie, you had said when you were telling your story that no one ever told you that it wasn't okay to text and drive, that there wasn't any kind of problem with it. you figured, i text all the time, why not text while i drive? do you have some thoughts on how
we can spread the word to teens? >> yeah. after my accident, my case, after things that happened i got the chance to go up to the state legislature at utah. they were trying to pass a bill on texting and driving, and i got the chance to go up and speak at one of their sessions and talk to them and tell them how dangerous this really is. after i talked to them, they passed a bill that's now been said to be one of the strictest laws in the nation. texting and driving down the road just one simple message and you get caught, you could face up to 90 days in jail in the state of utah. if you're in an accident that kills someone, you could face 15 years in prison. you know, i said i get the chance to go around and talk to high school kids and youth about this, and we talk about this law.
i tell them how serious it is, and it has a major impact on them. you can tell that that, that that's enough and, you know, i think about my situation, and i think, you know what? when i was that age, if there was a law telling me that if i would have sent a simple message to my friend while texting and driving that i would spend 90 days in jail, i think that would have been enough for me. so as far as getting the word out to teens, getting teens to stop doing this, i think it's important that there's laws in place so they understand that this is serious, this is a serious matter, you know? one short instance you send that short message, you know, there's serious punishment. maybe even your life. but to me that's, that's how we need to get it out to teens, get that message out there. >> thank you. >> we have another question from keira hudson who is here in the
audience also. she's from the think first program in indiana. she says, i was a distracted driver four years ago and crashed my suv because i thought my cell phone conversation was that important. and i'm now paralyzed as a result. i'm an active advocate against distracted driving now. what ideas do you have to get the message out to people who think this distracted driving behavior is not dangerous? natalie, do you want to take this one? >> like i said before, you have to change people's mind set and make it cool to be a safe driver. our chapter has really gotten involved with our community, we've collaborated with other groups to help spread our message, and we've done things that are interactive so that we're not just speaking to the teens, we're, like, actually encouraging them to be safe. and peers really listen to their peers more than anything else. and if they have a positive
influence someone, we're telling them it's okay to be a safe driver, it's okay to put your phone away for a few seconds while you're driving because you really need to reach out and make things fun. >> you were talking earlier about that sort of eye roll factor like, oh, so lame. how do we get over this idea that it's lame to be safe? >> you just have -- it's just making it interactive. like, if they're doing something they enjoy, that's going to make it not lame. >> yeah. okay, great. i think you guys, i think your stories have really made a huge impact, also, here. we have one more question from mrs. brown's 12th grade government class at penn high school in indiana who are watching us here today. mrs. brown's class writes, my class admitted that enforcing no cell phone usage, no eating, no loud music and no gawking would
be a challenging task. the class asked if your team could come up with an amazingly catchy slogan for advertising the distractive behavior that could be plastered in a campaign all over the nation, maybe even a song jingle. the students asked if there's a budget designated to fund this type of campaign, and they look forward to implementing the fight against distracted driving in our schools and our community. so i'm going to take this one because we'll be talking about education and awareness on the next panel. but there is something we can announce right now. and i'd like to invite sandy pavoni of the national organization for youth safety up to the stage. welcome to our panel. >> thank you. [laughter] we have very happy to answer that question to mrs. brown's class and all of the schools across the country that are interested in doing what these
youth are doing and speaking out and making a difference to use their voice in sending out a peer-to-peer message in their own words so that it's not lame. and we are issuing a challenge mr. the distracted driving summit to the youth to create their own psa concept, their public service announcement concept. and they will be able to send that concept in and enter a contest called drive to life. so you can go to www.drive to life.com and send in your industries by november 21st. the first place prize is an all-expense-paid trip to new york city to work with a professional film developer to see their concept developed into a professional psa that will be played widely, especially during youth traffic safety month. they will also receive a $1,000 scholarship, and there's to runner-up prizes for each different age category. we're prude to sponsor -- proud to sponsor this and to help in
the effort. so we challenge everyone to get involved and send those entries in. again, it's www.drive to life.com. >> but the most important part, a thousand dollars cash. cash talks. thank you. [laughter] thank you. [applause] drivetolife.com. this has been great. so amazing. thank you guys so much for sharing your stories, for being so honest, for being so innovative and coming up with great ideas that everyone can take to heart and really should take to heart. and so, you know, we've -- this is a real call to action for everyone here in the room and for everyone who is watching, that you can do something about distracted driving. so thank you very much. [applause]
>> since this transportation department summit, the senate commerce and transportation committee looked into the distracted driving issue and following a hearing, a bill was introduced in the senate, s. 1938 which would provide incentives to ban students from using cell phones while driving. the senate has yet to take action. currently eight states have banned all cell phone use while driving while 18 have banned texting. ..
>> coming this thanksgiving, american icon, on the three branches of the american government. the supreme court, home to america's highest court reveals the building in exquestions sit detail. then friday at 8 p.m., the white house, inside america's most famous home. beyond the velvet ropes of public tours. our visit shows the grand public places, as well as those rarely seen spaces. and saturday at 8 p.m., the capitol, the history, art, and architecture of one of the most symbolic structures. three memorables nights, thursday, friday, and saturday at 8 p.m. eastern on cson. -- c-span. get your own copy.
order online at c-span.org/store. >> now more from a conference on distracted driving. a new government report says distractions cause nearly 6,000 auto-related deaths and half a million injuries. hosted by the transportation department, this portion features transportation secretary ray lahood, and is about an hour and 35 minutes. >> now, while we are waited, i wanted to make sure that everyone knows that it publish the through the day of this event. yesterday, a research note that's available on our web site, and i think it's also available in hard copy that really was the foundation for the estimate of 6,000 fatalities a year from distraction. but also it contains a fairly comprehensive list of other studies that sort of
substantiate the extend and degree of distractions on the number of crashes that occur. and i would encourage you to read that note. and also understand in the setting, there are national definitions that are being used to describe what distraction is. it's not a consensus document, but it is our attempt to define distraction, which is a big subject for yesterday. thank you. so this is the last presentation for the national summit. and this is an important panel. you know, the public education came up frequently yesterday, and it has been a continuing topic this morning. so this panel really is a culmination of a discussion about education and awareness for distraction. we'll examine the public role of awareness that education can play when it comes to distracting driving, particularly texting and the cell phone. next line. you know, over the last 30
years, there's been significant progress in shifting public perception, and social norms regarding the safe driving behavior of the american public. for example, it's no longer considered acceptable for for young children to ride without being in a car seat. public awareness and education has played an important role, it's a part of the process, not only in terms of effecting driver behavior, but also in terms of educating the public on why strong laws are a critical part of the process. but there are limits to how far education alone can get people to change. this panel will discuss some the challenges that we can get through an education program. >> we've got to sort of a distinguished panel today. we're going to jump right in. i want to introduce chuck hurley who is the executive director and ceo for mother's against drunk driving. m.a.d.d. has been one of our
strongest partners in traffic safety for many years. their education and commitment has made a significant contribution for the preventible toll of drunk driving. we'll talk about what we can learn from his experience, and the experience of drunk driving, and apply with towards distracted driving. chuck? [applause] >> thanks, ron. and like other speakers, i want to thank secretary lahood for not only convening this meeting, but putting a focus on this issue. like many in the room, i've listen involved in highway safety for more than 30 years. and we have participated in quite a few campaigns. some of them very successful. some of them very unsuccessful. and so i would like to offer my view and matt's view of rules to follow. there are really only two rules. next slide, please. the first rule is follow the
research. pure review data, as far as enthusiasm. i wish everything that gave a warm feeling ended up saving lives. unfortunately, it doesn't. nonscience-based campaigns not only don't work. they tend to displace what does work. a sugar tab let approach really has the same effect. it often feels like it's working. it looks like it's working. but if the same number of young people die, the wonderful young people we just saw, education alone may lead us to that very unfortunate end. we know that education alone doesn't work. that's why evaluation is successful. to underscore that point, when i opened up the washington office for the national safety council in 1977, everyone could sing our jingle, buckle up for safety, buckle up. seven years later in 1984, belt
use had risen all the way to 13%. not only did the education alone process not work, it perhaps delayed effective action for as much as 20 years. so we have to be very careful in looking at the role of education. obviously, it's important. but education alone, unfortunately, does not yield good results. and the search for the mcperfect slogan. the search for the perfect jingle, can lead to an extraordinary loss of time and money. there is a body of knowledge, peer review literature as to what works and what doesn't work. we should be very respectful of that. with the rule following research, not all motion is progress. and next slide please. put a face on the numbers. prior to 1980 in m.a.d.d.,
probably the only two groups that understood drunk driving where the victims. and law enforcement officers and first responders. everyone else, it was a regular chokeline on johnnie carson. it was thought to be something that couldn't be resolved. by when the public understood that carrie lightener was killed in sacramento, california, everyone included the drunks wanted that to change. we got the presidential commission. we got the science and data put together in one place. and that is far more data driven than most people understand. i think one of the most important things is the victims who've been courageous enough to join us today should strongly consider it as a group coming together. their clear voice can keep the process, i want to say honest.
because that's the parent of it. but i think it can keep the focus on things proven to work far better than many other things. keeping -- these are not statistics. these are not accidents. we have to stop using that word. this is kind of an unfortunate word that is disabling. accidents are without cause, that's why we don't use the word public health. keeping the clear voice of the victims i think front and center will enable this initiative to continue. one the things that people no least about m.a.d.d. is we serve 55,000 victim families last year with court counseling, financial counseling, brief counseling. we have no intention of leading this effort, we would be honored to work with the victims of cell phone and texting to share the
lessons that we have learned. one point on that is by putting a face on it, i don't necessary marine the graphic nature of the british ad that was mentioned. i wish graphic ads work. they seem to work in australia. the literature here that i've seen, if the add is too graphic, the switch goes off. the risk denial process is pretty extraordinary. the -- obviously getting young people to understand low probability, high severity risk is one of the most difficult things we do in the society. next slide please. >> i want to offer a model that many of the people in the room. it was a good data driven model. it was probably the most public
private partnership. this was a real serious effort. and it started by failure. we had 24 child fatalities with 24 million pature bags in the market in 1996. we are adding pasture bags at a million a month in a low-belt use environment. that number would have grown had action not been taken. one the most important things we did, we asked and followed the advice of the iacp. i will be there sunday. that is one the most thing importants. iacp was at the table for the air bag campaign. the highway safety association is at the table. the management committee ably
chaired who retired yesterday by the way after achieving the record in highway safety. we raised and spent 47 million. we won't spend a dime on thing that is are not proven to work. we did know psa. we did know key chains. it wasit was -- we sought earmark funding for the congress first. we had peter's help to get the paid ads for collect it or ticket it. and over the limit, under arrest. we were very careful to follow the guiding principal, if it's not proven to work, don't do it. we also hired a communications firm that knew what didn't work. very important thing. a runaway communications firm can cost you a lot of time and money as well. but we believe this is a good model for people in this room to
consider. it also did one of the most unheard of things in washington. after it doubled the number of primary belt laws substantially increased belt use, we had an olympic closing ceremony and closed our doors when we met the objective. we are very pleased to say that the number of air bag fatalities to kids has reached the proper number. which is virtually zero. this is a model that could be followed. employer/parent policy, one the people today mentioned that was an occupational issue. the leading cause of death of workers in the united states is motor vehicle crashes. whether else do we let people be around 4,000-pound machines? we think employer policies and parent policies are a good clearing house for that.
madd when i became ceo five years ago, we had a number of employees all over the country. thousands of volunteers driving, going the monitoring and other things. we did not have a policy -- a mandatory policy on seat belt use and cell phones. i can tell you one the first things we did was to adopt the policy. this year i added texting as a specific provision of that. employers, i think, need to carefully consider a policy banning not just texting, and not just handheld, because any risk that is -- that is well documented, i think. not just for the issue of liability, which is quite real. but for the issue of protecting their own employees. which is a very top priority. the policy should include enlightened discipline as ours does up to including dismissal.
and madd will be conducting, launching later this month a parent initiative with the nationwide insurance and others where we will include this risk as well. next slide. rule number two, when is doubt, go back to rule number one. i don't say this in a flip way. the literature on the number of unsuccessful education only campaigns in this country where we've done things that we felt like they work, looked like they work, and the same number of young people died last year is something we should not allow ourselves to do again. so thank you. [applause] >> thank you, chuck. our next speakers is the executive director for youth safety. he will share some ideas on teens can be involved to the
serious problem. sandy? [applause] lawsuit lath >> -- [laughter] >> hi, first of all, i'd like to take this opportunity to thank secretary lahood for bringing us all together to address this,. and for all of the staff that worked so tirelessly to make this happen, and include youth on the program, and have them on the audience. we appreciate that attention. national os for youth safety, pertinence as noys. today i'm going to share with you how youth can lead in public awareness, peer education, enforcement, and advocacy efforts. through service learning projects, they move from
education to action to reflection. i hold in my hand three very important things. a cell phone, a driver's license, and keys. these three pieces are very important to a teen, and they also impact another important part, that's their social life. teens stay corrected to -- connected to their family and friends. unfortunately, some choose to say connected and text while driver obvious talk on their cell phone while driving. according to a survey sponsored by the all state foundation as part of national youth traffic safety month, we ask you to rank what they indicated as a risky behavior. so you can see on this chart that they rank it only second to driving on icy roads. you see here that they rank it 87% tell us that they real estate it's risky. and 68% admit to texting while driving. similarly, 63% of teens stated that they realized talking on a
cell phone is dangerous. but 83% admit to talking on the phone while they drive. from that survey, aalso asked teens what if you were in a car, and you felt an unsafe situation. would you be willing to speak up for your safety? you see on this is 68% said they would ask their driver not to text and drive, 45% said they would ask to stop driving. we know that teens realize it is a risk. they know that it is. they feel like a majority of them would speak up against an unsafe situation that they found themselves in. noys and it's member organization are dedicated to empowering teens through public awareness effort. through service learning, peer to peer education project, youth are educated about the risk, they gain knowledge about current and pending laws, and they turn this knowledge into action, and process the programs
through evaluation and process through transpost evaluation. youth support high visibility enforcement efforts by promoting the reason behind the enforcement. and encouragement for the judicial branches to monitor and enforce the current gdl and underage drinking laws. in this short presentation, i'm only going to be able to highlight a few examples of what they have done. and our work, the coalition supports. we empower you to support a comprehensive youth led program and project that support advocacy and support and encourage enforcement effort in education campaign. a comprehensive program is essential to impact behavior change just as we heard from chuck. we don't say that the psa is the end all to be able, and everybody is going to be safe and not text. we know that it has to be part of the process. through some the examples, you will see that they have to learn about what the laws are. and there was education. and they worked to support
enforcement. on the first example here, you have a statistic chart that the youth created. they worked with their local law enforcement to create and perform seat belt check. of they rewarded those who had their seat belt on with candy, and they gave information to those that weren't buckled up. they work with the law enforcement to increase the efforts during this time of education that they were performing. at the conclusion of the campaign, they conduct another check to measure the change in the behavior. you can see from this chart that improvement was made. and this is particular school is in illinois. they have a batch of students though the next year to education. if you look at the beginning of every school year, they are starting at needed to do some strong education again. many of the teens across the country are using the same to address texting or talking on a cell phone. so they are setting up these awareness campaigns.
they are checking to see if they are texting and driving in different locations, and for states that have laws working with them to support that, and encourage peers not to participate in that behavior. youth are very creative when empowered. they create methods. these are just a few example of some the work that the teens put together. the first one is example of board that the youth created and received funding to post. the next one that you see there are place mats that the youth put together. they are to gather the information and learn from the process they wanted to share with the communities or community assessment, finding out what the laws were. they created place mats. and the next time that the youth created and hung at their football field. when the youth went there, they didn't see all of the local sponsorship. they were getting messaging from their youth to use about safety driving. and the last one is a poster
that the youth created. and i same up with their own slogan. practice safe text. one other example that is popular is to create and see, you'll see most ad campaigns, they use a youth to present that message. and so that's what we encourage them to do. and they'll create psa and wraps, and different messages. i'm going to show you a wrap that is created by natalie who you just saw in the last panel. and their team worked together. they had a very comprehensive project that hit them from advocacy. they met with their senators, they worked with their local law enforcement. the wrath that i showing you is one piece. they will put together a message. i had the opportunity three weeks ago to go to their school aaward them $10,000 because they won first place in the act out
loud contest. the two gentleman that you see there, and who will be performing the rap are college students now. they came and drove from college, the night before, to be at their school at 5:00 in the morning that day. and they were able to do their wrap, and present it, and they got local media coverage, and it was just so exciting to see youth that were that enthused, and were that dedicated to getting the message across to their own peers about an very important issue. and they open up their school year with a pep rally. and the pep rally included this. this was a very exciting, positive, as they said, they send their messages out in a positive way. it was a creative piece that they did. to win the contest, it was online voting process. in two weeks we reached over 90,000 online votes. his team received almost 20,000. you had people who were looking at what they were messaging, and trying to get it across. they workedhearted -- worked
hard to get the votes. they were trying to alert the youth. many of them said they didn't know it was against the law. it is a big deal. i'll let you play it. [video] ♪ all of the sudden i see my cell phone ♪ ♪ who messaged me ♪ my hands surprised me ♪ my friends said no texting ♪ it's not safe ♪ it's a big deal ♪ texting while driving is a crime ♪ ♪ you don't pay attention and you drive too fast ♪ ♪ you may cause a crash ♪ is it something you want to do ♪ ♪ no way note i put my phone away ♪ ♪ because texting and drying is a big deal ♪ [applause]
>> and i mentioned that they won the $10,000 prize. they decided to create many grants in their local community and other efforts. so other schools in the area can apply to receive many grants from their project funding to create messaging and to create educational comprehensive campaigns and increase it out of their school, and share it with up. that was a very nice pay it forward piece that the youth thought of on their own. we congratulate them for their efforts and award. one last point that i want to make is from the survey, we also found out that the teens definitely impacted we parental nuance and guidance. it makes a huge impact. they createed the tool, as enforcer of house rules and supporter ofs laws. included are resources for youth to use to educational campaigns when youth can reach out.
many youth tell us they are the ones that tell their parent when the gdl laws are. we want to make sure what the gdl laws really are. through parent influence, they hold the keys to the three important items. they hold the keys to the cell phone, the keys, and the license. the parents are important to establishing and monitoring. they support a comprehensive program. we are excited to here the information. we are a coalition. we are open to working with all of you. youth want to be involved. we want to work you with to empower them to do that. [applause] >> thank you sandy, you've
already heard from our next speaker. he's the editor of "seventeen." she'll show us what they are doing on the subject of distracted driving. [applause] >> thank you. i'm honored to be included today. in fact, i volunteered the minute that i heard this panel was being put together. because this is -- as i said in the last panel, the number one cause of deaths for teens are car crashes. and that is just a huge problem that we need to tackle at "seventeen" because we are for teen girls. i am here today as the ambassador and the advocate for 13 million readers. i'm going to be very short and to the point. i am here to tell you what's worked for us. but i'm also here to listen and learn from the distinguished panel. so the first slide, this is our approach.
this is my -- my approach is do not be subtle. this is our august issue. it is the big selling issue of the year. this is the iconic back-to-school fashion issue. we put a cover line that says the distinguishing ways girls are dying from texting. don't let this happen to you. so we -- it's dramatic language. it's our biggest issue of the year. we had to cut the veggies in between all of the cotton candies. they want to look amazing, and yet it's important that we let them know that a text message can kill you. the next slide. we have to make it real. this is nicole when she was a blond as you can see. but the most amazing thing aboutny -- nicole's story is she was real. she was an ordinary girl in a circumstances. and her life changed on a dime.
she was telling her story how she was driving home. what she didn't tell you is that she was thinking about a cute guy. she was texting her friend. she didn't even think about it. and it's the kind of experience that happens to girls every single day. and in a heartbeat nicole's entire life changed. and that is our message with that story is it could happen to you. the next slide. we want to put it in context for our girls. you know, the stats that we ran in this issue are about our readers putting into confection in our lives. a lot of times when we put stats in a magazine, they get overwhelmed, because they don't know what it means. it's not in their language. so here 50% of them admit to texting while driving. now you know that number is probably higher. 25% of them have said that they were in car accident because someone else was driving while
>> my sister is a texting hollick. and your story change her entire view about driving. she is now cutting back on texting and keeping it safe in the car. that's an amazing impact. she was worried about her sister. the next one is julia from texas. not even a few hours ago i was riding with one of my friends and we nearly got into it rack because she was texting. most people think they did it and they are invincible. your story about the girl getting anorak was unnecessary wakeup call. i plan on showing that feature to my friend. save your own life, girl. get off the phone. it's those kind of ideas that it
is your family and friends that you want to protect them and those of the people you are going to listen to. when we get letters like these that i know we are making, that we're having a huge impact and that we are going to have an impact on this issue. really, what more could you ask for any and? thank you. [applause] >> thanks, ann. our next speaker is janet froetscher who is the president and ceo of the national safety council. another one of our strong safety council at nhtsa. city council has made many contributions towards traffic safety over the years in working with the private sector, state and local legislatures on traffic safety. janet will share some of her insight on how national safety council believes we can tackle this problem. thanks, janet. [applause] >> good morning. we are delighted to be here, and
thank you guys very much for including us. for those of you who don't know the national safety council, we are not a national government untrimmed government entity. we are a business organization. we have 20000 business members. we have reformed to bring safety into businesses. many of you as our to our click it or ticket campaign. next slide. so there are a few things that we are focused on educating people about. one, and a lot of the shubert in the last couple of days. one, teams are the highest risk group. we have heard this over and over again. they are inexperienced drivers. they engage in risky behavior. they are easily distracted. that is something i think we're getting nice job of educating people about the last couple of days. texting is the highest risk activity that we've talked about the last couple of days. the perfect storm, cognitive. i think that has been a very clary the last couple of days.
we believe there's actually more crash involvement with cell phone use. so while we would agree that texting that activity is more risky, we think there are four more people using cell phones. you heard the data, four times more likely to be in an accident using her cell phone. so making the calls, receiving the calls, the cognitivist tracking something on the calls. we believe a lot more people are involved in crashes as a result of cell phone conversations than texting. although texting is the highest risk activity. next slide. so we would, second, no surprise, chuck's comments about education by and of itself not changing behavior. there some conversation yesterday about how do we change on a widespread basis people's behavior. and the good news is that we have a lot of models that have been successful in the past and making that happen. so what we know is that education coupled with strong laws that are visibly enforced over a period of time it is what
will lead to widespread change in behavior. that's what the national safety council at the beginning of this year called on legislators to put in place bans on cell phone use and texting while driving. we call on businesses to put in place policies around so for use in texting while driving. and you heard the other day, we are calling on parents to set some very clear rules for their children around cell phone use and driving. because we know if we set these laws and we visibly enforced them, we will see behavior change. next slide. okay. legislators. i'm going to talk about the three groups of people that i think i called them the rulemakers. they are legislators, they are business leaders and their parents. these are the three groups were working with actually set rules. you hear a lot of talk earlier in the panel about the kind of legislation that is being debated in our state legislators. would like to see more conversation about cell phones in addition to texting. one of the things that we want
our legislators to know is that the public will support you. nationwide just completed a survey where, although lots of folks, 80%, 90% like you heard with aaa, said that they know it is dangerous, more dangerous to use your cell phone while driving. they admit they are doing it anyway. they also say they support laws that ban, total ban on so fo cel phone use while driving. they are really afraid. we also know that 40 percent of them said they would change their behavior if there was a law. you heard that from shock that there are a number of people that just because there is a law in place will change their behavior. the way you get from that 40 percent to widespread acceptance is to visibly enforced those laws over a period of time. so again we would argue that those laws should be in place and being forced. there's a lot of debate yesterday about hands-free
versus hand-held phone. the simplest way that i can say is most people when they think about hands-free think about the device they put in the air and then they manipulate the phone. when you think about that, you think about the cognitive distraction of the visual and the manual distraction. what we are concerned about with hands-free law, people are thinking that they are safer because they put something in their care and then they go ahead and do what they were doing anyway. we are concerned about the visual distraction, manual distraction and are concerned about the cognitive distraction. you think back on the conversation yesterday about how vision, inattention blindness, reacting to lateral cues, how dangerous it is to drive. they need to be able to react in terms of surprises. we know that there is a lot of cognitive distraction on our roadways. so if you look at some of the data that was out last night from nhtsa, we know there's a huge numbers, and billions of people right now on our roadways
that are engaged in cell phone conversations. so you know you are four times more likely to be in an accident or you know people are actively engaged, millions of them, and cell phone conversations for long period of times. that's what has us concerned about the cognitive risk about the cell phone conversation. that's why we believe texting bans are not enough. we believe we've got to address the cell phone conversations as well as put in place of texting bans. we have been actively working with our business leaders. if you have not seen "the new york times" this morning i would recommend you do that. there's a real nice article on business is leading the way in terms of safety. we are a business safety organization. we were formed almost 100 years ago by business leaders to bring safety into their workplace. what we know working with business leaders and when they know that they have their employees doing something in a way that is significantly increases their risk, they stop their employees from doing it.
so what we're telling them is when your employees are on their cell phone, cell phone, they are four times more likely to be in an accident. and they are responding to that. we did a survey of our members, and 500 of them have put a ban on cell phone use and texting for their employees while driving. very interesting. of the 500, seven of them saw a decline in productivity. 40 senator issa increase in productivity. and arrested they hadn't seen any impact at all as they couldn't tell. so a lot of our businesses on a preliminary basis worried about productivity. and that is not what we have seen. we are also saying that they are motivated by concern of the liability. so they know that this is more dangerous behavior for their employees and now their employers are using their cell phones that they pay for, driving cars they are probably paying for it while people are on their payroll conducting their business. they get in an accident. they are likely to be sued, and
if you follow the litigation, they are likely to lose. we are seeing a lot of litigation risk as part of what is entering into our ceos mind. i will tell you they're doing a great job of educating their employees, not just putting policies in place. but educating their employees about the dangers and asking their employees to take those lessons home to their families and to the french. we are thrilled that it was put in place. we would love to see the department of transportation, and other federal agencies to follow suit. we are concerned about people have responsibility for their employees risk and having them put those kinds of policies in place. parents. here a little bit of talk today about parents. we want parents to understand that teens are at greatest risk. i have two teenagers. i continue its so hard for me to believe that they listen to me when they roll their eyes. but the research says that they do. research tells us that parents can have a huge influence on the
risks that their children face. and here's what you can do as a parent. have a conversation with your children. tell them it is unacceptable. you expect him to be off the phone when they are on the road. and that there will be consequences. think back to sandy's three things that she held up and you tell them, you will not be able to drive. i will take the car keys and i will take your cell phone. if i find that you are on the phone while you are driving. and set a good example because they want you. they watch what you're doing in addition to what you said. so if you can do that as a parent, and you heard yesterday that the wireless industry, specifically to educate parents and teens come if you can tell them on the road off the phone, you can have an enormous impact in keeping your children safe or. so what we're hoping is what it will prompt some action, that it will encourage legislators to take action and pass laws. know that the public is behind them and hope that they can work
with us to find a way to visibly enforced those laws. we know employers are putting in place policies, and we encourage them to do that both of texting and on cell phone use. and use that as a way to educate their employees and their families on how to keep them safe or. as parents, and we really encourage parents to set rules, set a good example, to have some consequences from those rules and know that you are keeping your children safe or in doing that. we hope that other federal agencies will follow the suit of the ntsb input and cell phone and texting bans. and at organizations like osha and others that work with employers will encourage employers to do the same thing. because we know that if we can do these things, we can educate, put in place rules, and we can visibly enforced those rules, we will change behavior and we will save thousands of lives. thank you. [applause]
>> well, last but not least, he is the president of the insurance of the insurance institute for highway safety. he will highlight the importance of integrating public awareness and education into larger traffic safety initiatives. [applause] >> thank you, ron, and thanks to everyone who has been involved in organizing this summit. i think this has been a very useful experience for all of us to see the various attitudes about this. i would like to note that i am the last formal speaker around here and usually that is kind of a motivational type person, putting an explanation point on this. but i am a researcher so you get what you get. [laughter] >> if we can have the first slide, please. you know, i think it's important that we recognize here that cell phone use and texting is not occurring because people think it is risk free. we have heard a lot of surveys, but editorial cartoons offer a
window on the public perception of issues. and you know those cartoons are basically unanimous, and there are many of them and texting cellphone use as dangerous. they are also unanimous in depicting americans as generally oblivious to the implications. the syndication that there is widespread knowledge about the dangers of cell phone use of distracted driving, but people still do it. we have heard that over and over during this meeting. should we be surprised? next slide. not at all. as chuck mentioned earlier, this really is a replay of the safety belt campaigns of the middle 20th century. it's really great to be able to talk about the 20th century in the past. [laughter] >> until we begin to require safety belt use, with laws and enforcing those laws in the middle 1980s, belt use hovered around 10 to 15%. except for a very brief period when we had interlocks.
ignition interlock and cars in the early '70s. that went away though when people rebuild. that's important to keep in mind, people rebelled. but back to the message here. was the low use because people thought belts were irrelevant? cha-cha'd you they can all sing his jingle. in fact, a national survey in 1981, two thirds said that people should wear seat belts in an automobile. 10% didn't. and another survey in late 1984, 86% said seatbelts with a significant number of lives. yet still at that point only 15% were actually observed wearing seatbelts. it may be argued that a well-planned public information campaign could have made this knowledge more relevant to people. showed them how it was relevant to their behavior. next slide. such a campaign in fact was
tried by the insurance institute for highway safety. for nine months back in 1970 and 1971, a safety belt use campaign was tested in a small city with a split cable television system. this system was developed gesso advertising campaigns could test out different messages and see what effect they had. now i'm going to play one of these segments. this is one example of a television messages that were aired. this one emphasizing parental responsibility. couldn't play that, please? and there will be sound. >> is she all right? everybody okay? did you see that? my little drudges hit her head. >> well, you have safety belts. you mean, you don't make your child wear the belt? >> well -- >> what kind of father are you? >> i think we know. he's more like many of us.
>> this was one of i think it was six messages altogether. other messages, other motivational themes. disfigurement, there was even because this took place late in the year, a halloween theme that tried to get children to encourage their parents to wear seatbelts. using a good witch bad witch thing. it was equivalent to a national campaign of $5 million in the 1970. $5 million can't buy anything now but in the 1970 i was never thinking that was a lot of money. and it was a lot of money. they were professionally built at. so what were the result of this? iges show two lines of the data in this particular craft. it compares people who were on cable version eight and people who are on cable version he. cable a got all of these messages in a saturated format.
people in cable b didn't. when we look at people in the neighborhoods with those cables were attached, we saw absolutely no difference in the number of people buckling up. so nine-month campaign, no difference. the only kind we found was that as wintertime came along and probably because people have to deal with both decodes and everything, belt use went down. next slide. so what did we conclude? is public information and education still important? it is obvious i think that it's not only important, it is crucial. first of all it does change some behavior. otherwise, we wouldn't have had any buddie buckling up. and we also have some people now who are curbing their own cell phone use. but most people already know about the risk of cell phones and have made their choices. but that informatiinformation is important because it can create
and motivate creative policymakers and engineers. made changes. when new policies are enacted that restrict or encourage behavior, we need a lot of education to remind the public of the reasons for those intrusions into their personal space. we especially need it enforcement is part of the policy, we need public education that tells the public that's happening. we heard earlier from major salmon about the fact that there were so many seatbelts -- so many cell phone violations being written for tickets, yet i don't think many people know that in the state of new york. we also need evaluation and public feedback on the effects of the policies that we established to validate that policy and to legitimize that intrusion on personal choice. it's important that we do that for the next big problem that we want to address. but information is crucial.
by itself, it won't move the needle at all. so let's go to the next slide, please. if public information and education is critical, then it would be good to know what to say to people. we should think about that a little bit. we have heard a lot of information over the past two days. if we are honest, and i emphasize again, it's important to be honest, because precipitous action that is based on into his but ultimately false information will lose public trust. that public trust is absolutely imperative if we're going to be effective in changing something like this. but if we are honest and we must recognize the landscape of this problem has become much more complex since new york and acted the first state handheld van. at that time, there seemed a reasonable expectation that encouraging hands-free phone technology could allow consumers
access to this emerging communications market while restricting the impact on safety. but since then more data have come out. two studies of actual crashes and phone records of the crash involved drivers show that whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free, once the conversation begins, cell phone users are four times as likely to crash. not while they're diving. but once the conversation begins. virginia tech studies mabrey some question about the size of this risk on hands-free, but in those days it is important to members that 90 percent of the driving it into the analyzer not actually crashes. mostly they are near crashes. for example in the example of car drivers, or they are playing deviations as in the truck drivers stay. we don't really know how strongly these events are related to actual crashes, and we should not assume that hands-free communication is risk-free to medication.
i would also add there is a lot of uncertainty about how to effectively laws and other actions can actually deal with this. this is an important thing for us to keep in mind. if we take a look at this slide, what is the message that we can give to people? first of all, to the public. we can limit, they should be told, all of our data show that limiting phone use while driving is going to reduce crash risk. they should be told that manuel diving in texting is especially risky. i think all the data are clear on that. but the act of talking alone raises the risk which is the kind of distraction when talking about, raising the risk and occupies more time than these other activities. so basically, there was a need to limit these activities while driving. what do we tell policymakers? and that's what i think it gets really collocated. because there's a lot of hard stuff to put together out there.
handheld bands, we study these know, reduce the handheld use, but we don't know how much of that handheld use is replaced with hands-free use. and enhancer is just as risky, what have we achieved? we need to recognize that hands-free and texting band will be difficult to enforce. we also as i think i'm mentioned earlier, it's actually unknown whether any of the bands that we currently have had reduce crash risk one way or the other. we do know that simply passing laws for teens appears to have little effect. this was an institute study in north carolina. but we saw zero change in the teen years of handheld cell phones after it was made illegal for teens to be using cell phones. simply passing a law doesn't work. we need to be able to enforce. it was the perception by the teens that it wasn't being
enforced, but we don't know whether enforcement would have made a difference. but we need to enforce the law that matters. there's also another problem that i think legislators are going to do with from the opponents of these laws, and that is that when we look at the macro crash data, that is, how many crashes are occurring over time, we don't see a large increase. in fact, we see a number of crashes occurring yearly are declining. not just in the recent times when the economy is tanking, but even before that. so we have -- this will be thrown in your face when talking about a four times increase in risk, that the decline is actually, that there is actually a decline in crashes. we need to figure out why that's happening. and you will have to make a decision on how much intrusion on personal choice all these facts really justify.
and hopefully, this summit has provided a good opportunity for us to begin to work on that question. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, adrian. now it's time to open up questions session for the panelists, and also i think one of the things that hasn't happened so much during this meeting is the inner circle are of panelists and experts are also available to either ask question or help answer questions. so we encourage you at this table to also participate. okay. yes, sir. >> john fischer and i am with tried safety first. the first thing i want to do is give a special thanks as most people have the secretary lahood and the dot for holding the
summit. i would also like to say that as an out of print or and inventor and a small business owner, i feel like david and goliath here. and i really want to give special thanks to the national safety council because i've been able to get a monumental amount of data from them and assistance in overcoming this feeling. one of the things i really want to key on here is a major obstacle that we face is that there are no defined standard set of protocols within the wireless industry. and because we need a standard set of safety protocols so that when we invent technology, it will across the board be applicable to all of the different phones. there are over 630 different types of phones, and every time i had to pay for an engineer to go develop software, it is quite an enormous expense to get this
done. if we can get a standard set of protocols implemented, companies like ours, it's just going to open up the doors. and we are not just going to be talking about a solution. we are going to be bringing technological solutions which can be implemented immediately. not marinating for the next 10 years and trying to educate people. what i do believe education is key, but more than education, if we can adopt a simple technological answer that will stop this, why should we? >> i'm going to make a personal challenge to the cell phone providers. i would like to see which one of them is going to step up to the plate first and helped develop this standard set of safety protocols. it's not just distracted driving
that the cell phone has been a problem with. it's been a problem with prisons, it's been -- because they smuggle them in. it's been a problem with the classrooms in the education systems in our society. and with this standard set of protocols, we can't eliminate all of that. and i really want to see them step up to the plate and put into effect this technology. they can immediately implement a standard set of safety protocols, so we're not going to be here next year. is going to be taken care of already. okay. this is not an epidemic. it's a pandemic. we are the united states. were supposed to be technology leaders. why don't we come up with a solution? thank you. >> does anyone want to respond to the issue of safety protocols, standards safety protocols, anyone?
thank you. the point is well taken. this young lady over here. >> my name is daniel and visit our group ear only a limited number of states now have laws against distracted driving. in florida are grouped ttyl initiated an ordinance to ban texting while driving and the parkland city commission voted unanimously to pass the first reading and before. does the panel have any suggestions about getting statewide support to dan distracted driving? >> i would have one thing i meant to say in my talk, and that is to encourage you to actually insist it is a primary law. passing a secondary law, others have said it is a clear signal for elected officials. they are not serious about its enforcement. i commend you on working on this. as you seek that legislation, make sure that it is a law that can be regularly enforced.
it can be the reason the car can be pulled over. >> take a. >> i would go for the. if they don't do that, it becomes a secondary law, i think we should actively oppose the secondary laws around the united states because it will be very misleading to think that we have done something when actually we have probably made it more difficult. >> thanks, chuck. anyone else? yes, sir. >> as chairman of the foundation, and actually father of a daughter. many of you have listened to me on previous sessions. who was last, i have more of a positive message, positive comment and a positive question. i would like to express my deep appreciation to both sandy and ann for bringing this youth
group and also bringing this very critical and difficult to convey message in an extremely, kind of, if i can use the expression, enjoyable manner. and that is what this very important, and i credit you for that. and although in just a little over a year, but we have done a lot of work in the state of minnesota, and i was so delighted that our friend ann brought in a minnesota and to the audience, and also sandy for showcasing minnesota on the screen. so i felt good. and with so much going on with you and the support you are providing, on behalf of our
foundation, i would like to present here an annual report of $5001 to anyone in this audience, youth audience, not the adult. [laughter] >> and those who are listening on the web like mrs. brown's school, class, i don't know whether they are still on, to submit an essay which can be validated and evaluated to our website for a $5001 scholarship, and the subject will be that how did you make distraction pre-driving possible, how did you encourage it, how you have made a contribution, which will qualify you to earn as $5001 scholarship. i'm not going to evaluated myself. i would urge, in fact, invites
both sandy and ann to team with me and my foundation to create a very valid, you know, something, a process because it will be national, a process that can validate, evaluate and also awarded a scholarship to the person. and that is of course we take it off-line. i would like to -- that was my question. will you agree, please? [laughter] >> i will tell you, i think you are absolutely on the right track. i said before, that's how you get attention, $5001 is a huge, generous offer. and i think that what you will be a standby when you start to get the responses is the creative thinking and the real outpouring of the passion from teenagers about this issue. because it is because it affects them so directly. so i applaud you on your innovative approach, and i think
that your heart will be warmed by the responses that you get. you will be really astounded. >> this is part of our, and it is an alternate mode of. this is part of our grief therapy. we want is foundation to grow just like we wanted sharia to grow and build you know, become a big part of the society. and lasting, may i ask for your 30 seconds of your time to actually agree to this pledge, this is a one sentence pledge, that we take at the end minnesota that we have already conducted in the last year, year and a half. where everyone, 300 plus individuals in the audience stand, and then recite this after they have walked for the cause. and may i ask, the chairman's
permission to please ask everyone to stand while i read this one sentence. >> okay. yes, sure. will anyone stand, please. >> and this is in memory of those who have been lost to distracted drivers, and those that we will save from fatalities. in years to come. i promise to remember that everyone on the road is the someone's sister, brother, mother, father, daughter, son or friend, to keep my eyes and mind on the road at all times. i promise and take this pledge. >> i promise and take this pledge, okay. thank you. >> think you. how about a web question?
>> what does the panel feel about feedback systems in the car that are available to help parents know if their teams are driving distracted? >> who wants to take that? >> adrian? >> well, we know that if parents can know what their children are doing in the car, it is a change to a children's behavior. we know that from studies. we have done at the institute and other people have done similar studies. the more we can keep the parents involved, and where the children know that it is happening, the more we can have the rules that we would like them to follow in force. i think we heard earlier today, i think it was, wasn't nicole who said that, you know, she had her license now. and they were not in the car anymore so she could do what she wanted. so this does allow pairs to
extend their influence although longer while teens are learned to drive. >> so i just asked the question is to try to limit the questions. and in order to be fair to the people that are waiting, i yesterday expect i enrich your day from johns hopkins. i live in d.c. and i want to extend a welcome to all of you who up to our nation's capital. i would also welcome you to go out to the street and witness for yourselves the pandemic of cell phone use on the streets of our national capital. yesterday i went out to 16th and k. street, and i counted 21 automobiles out of 30 that we as a binding with cell phone -- with the drivers having cell phones to their heirs. now july 1, 2004, is a date that i remember very well. because as i was driving with my
wife down wisconsin avenue, she was stopped and issued a ticket for talking on her cell phone while driving. she was in good company, because on the same day, a councilman, my councilman, jack evans, who introduced the legislation to ban cell phones while driving in d.c., was also ticketed. [laughter] >> so we have a law. we still have a pandemic. i would like each of the panel members to make a recommendation to our mayor as to what to do to close the gap between the law and compliance in our nations capital, which should be an example for the rest of the country. >> i think one of the things that came out of his panel quite clearly was the effectiveness of
the law really depends heavily on both information education campaign, a company with strong enforcement activity. i don't know what the activities are in the district, i don't know what you guys have to say but that is sort of the general feeling that we have is you have to have strong enforcement for the law to work. >> great. >> good afternoon. i am pam fischer. i'm the director of highway safety for the state of new jersey and i'd say hi to some other palis i know quite well. i want to talk about education because this is a critical piece, and i want to focus on social norm in. because i think this is what we're trying to get to the heart of here. but i want your take on how do we broaden the discussion on little bit more. we have keyed in on teens. we are keyed in on texting and cell phones in cars. but let's talk about socially how we have become completely distracted in the transportation system. this the gentleman alluded to 21 car drivers yesterday in traffic
on cell phones. i came back and forth from this mean that i had to step out yesterday to do a couple of press interviews. when i came back my taxi driver almost struck to pedestrians on cell phones. so we have a problem here as a society in terms of what we are doing. we are so concerned about being connected. in my state of new jersey we have a huge problem with pedestrian fatalities and injuries that many of those folks are in traffic stream. they are business people. they are adults on cell phones. we have a bicycle problem as well. so when we talk about education, i asked us to think about as we are reaching out specific audiences, whether it is business people, teenagers, teachers, whoever it might be, we need to broaden the discussion so that we have a complete view on what is happening out there in our transportation system. i think that's critical. one other comment i ask you to think about is the education piece of starting at the artist page possible. i am a mother. i have been, you know, my son
has watched me drive since i brought him home from hospital. he will be driving two more years if i allow him to do that. and we have to focus on getting our children a strong start. let's give our teachers some strong tools to help them teach these basic traffic safety components at a very, very early age. they are hungry for this. they want it. they recognized it is something they should be addressing, and it is in their curriculum standards in many places that it is in our state. so speaking to all u.s. experts in this area who are focused on specific groups, you know, how can we best do this, how do we broaden the discussion so it is everybody in the transportation system that is addressed. >> who wants to take that? >> i will take part of it. i think one of the things we need to do in education is to educate people on what has proven to work. because educational alone on risk is not proven to work, but i do think as adrian and others have said, education plays a
very important role but it is a goal that supports good laws in force. is not an independent role, and the amount of time and money it would take to do a broad education program might better be spent in doing some of the things that would meet the medical model if it is not proven. >> anyone else? guesser. >> im bob with nationwide insurance, but this time i'm actually got a different hat on as i am wearing my board member of the network for employers for traffic safety hat. so there called nits. is a nonprofit organization that is based on helping employees with traffic safety issues. as we heard earlier in the week the number one cause of about on the job and off the job fatalities and injuries to employees is actually traffic crashes. so i am here with a little commercial that the next week actually is nets drive safety
campaign, and as it would have been vicious campaign is focused on distracted driving. so nets has put together a bunch of material that employers can use to help educate their associates about the dangers of distracted driving. and tools that they can use to help them mitigate this problem, put down their cell phones, paycheck into the road and get home safely. so i just wanted to throw that little commercial solar panel can relax. no tough questions this time. >> minus -- >> go ahead. >> thanks. just a couple of questions for doctor love. your presentation was fascinating. when we look at distraction 2003, excluding passenger conversations, we saw the drives were distracted behind the wheel about 16 percent of the time there we can assume that number has changed based on new electronic pneumatic devices
that people may have in their cars. you comment and i think your numbers indicate that even though we have seen an explosive use of these devices in cars, we haven't seen an associated increase in crashes. so while there is an increased crash risk, it may not be borne out yet in the numbers of crashes. if we remove these devices from the car, if we make using cell phones in any manner, for example, against the law, what assurance do we have that our drivers are simply not going to find some other way to be distracted behind the wheel and not actually see our crashes go down at all? >> well, i think that is exactly the risk that we have. we need to remember, the statistic was given yesterday by virginia tech that 90 percent of crashes, and this is true in every study i've seen done, 90 percent of crashes is the
proximal cause is in fact a driver error of some sort. that was true when the city was done in 1960s. and it has been true in every study that's look at it since. so drivers find ways to make errors. one situation could be that, yes, talking on the cell phone is risky, but maybe never seen a big increase in crashes because it's substituting for other risky things they would be doing if they were not talking on your cell phone. and i think that's why, you know, a number of panelists talked about distracted driving as a whole. and looking at the many different ways that drivers are distracted and make errors. because it probably isn't correct to assume that a driver not talking on a cell phone is paying 100 percent of attention to the road. so we need to better understand those data from the standpoint. >> ivp africa emergency
physician and i also helped direct the center for injury research and prevention at the children's hospital of philadelphia. i also called the research program with state farm insurance that aims to develop a set of evidence-based interventions to reduce the risk of teen crashes. so we are particularly interested in the focus in the spam and particular about the unique role of distraction for novice teen drivers. i would like to direct my comment, a brief one, to the youth in the room as well as those who might be watching on the web. in his opening comments yesterday morn, secretary lahood cited result of our work that were published this week indicate that cell phone use by teens is 30% lower among the teens whose parents set clear goals and very importantly, do so in a way that is perceived as supportive by the teens. and those results as well as others from those studies compiled in this report which is
available in the waiting area out here as well as on our website, as well as state farm's website. and i think what i understand of the last day and a half, coming at this conference will be a number of activities from legislation to advertising that will be focused on teens. and that provides you, a unique opportunity, to provide some leadership to this effort in a way that i would like to echo some of the comments of our panel members. before anybody thinks that the youth are not capable of this, let me suggest an example that actually shows that you've been providing this leadership for the past decade. in 1999, when probably most of you in the first grade, only about 5 percent of kids your age heuser booster seats. now, over half of four to seven-year-olds routinely use booster seat in the carpet it has become the normal thing to do. ron, you mentioned this in your opening comments.
and that's the secret to you representing the leading edge in my opinion of a generation that has been trying to do the right thing and stay as safe in the car as possible, literally from the day you were born. now you're in the driver's seat. both literally and figuratively, i think. so 10 years ago none of us involved in this could have imagined that booster seat use would become a social norm so quickly. but that's the reason why, i believe, that you hold the key to changing what is considered normal behind the wheel 10 years from now. is always easier to develop a new habit than to break an old one. so my challenge to all of you used to use your energy and your innovation we have seen great examples of it today, to start a conversation with your parents and/or change the conversation you're having with your friends, just don't have the conversation while you're driving. keep up the good work.
>> thanks. questions on the web. >> this is from a father of two daughters, ages 19 and 23, or both as we heard, earlier, added textures, talkers and twitter verse. they believe that everyone else is average while they are very skilled in the use of their cell phones. so this father asks other than by example, how can i convince them that they are as susceptible as anyone to be distracted drivers because of their cell phones? >> who wants to take that one? >> well, i think you've heard a number of us say is to have the conversation with him about the dangers, to put in place clear goals, because you control the keys and you control their cell phones. probably not the older ones, but the younger one you probably still pay their cell phone bill. be supported as much as you can as a designated tester, and live
up to those expectations. the research shows that if you are, set some clear goals and expectations and you provide a good example yourself, you can make a dramatic difference in terms of your children's safety. you can actually drive that behavior down significantly. >> i agree with that, and that the parent has the power. so if they are using their phones that much, then take them away. and enforce it. monitor and enforce that it is easy to do with your cell phone bill. you can tell if they're texting and driving. and another opportunity to is i just attended this week a gh essay for driving skills for life. women had about 40 youth from the local area that participate in a distracted driving simulation, and i talked to the teens. they didn't know who i was. i did know who they were. and before and after. and they were extremely nervous. first of all not getting in the car and doing this even though and they knew it was controlled. they said they would text.
and it wasn't something to offer while. they should know how to do that. and they only let them go 40 miles an hour. that's what the youth center they said i was only going for and i knocked over all those cones. i did know i was working as much. so to them it was a visual that they saw it is impacting my driving more than i thought it was. so those opportunities as well help the youth to have a visual for that. but it set the rules and enforce it. >> okay. >> my name is david. i'm a transportation planner with arlington county, which is just across the river in northern virginia. i made bicycle and pedestrian planner. i think i give up what i think is a common theme between the work that i'm principally involved in, and the work that you are almost presently involved in. just a bit of background. arlington is about a generation
and a half into living through a new transportation model. is 30 build up, so we don't have to go to europe or even many apples for their great bike trails to see some alternative ways of transportation plays out. so the theme that precipitates a lot of this discussion for me is the idea of selfish driving. i know a lot of people in the room are particularly specialists and the issues of distracted driving. i hear the technological questions, cell phone use. i understand research. i know how to read reports, but distracted driving is a subset of selfish driving, and nicole in the previous session brought that it. we see that not only in cell phone and textures, but speeding, drinking, eating, crowding the crosswalks and bike lanes which i see all the time. the common theme of that is
saying my business is more important than your business. and we can have people who are dying and getting injured in vast numbers because of that. so i suggest we are changing the frame of the debate which gets to the point the woman ahead of me in line made, it is citizenship is not just an issue in unsafe behavior. safety is certainly a part of it, but as i see it through my work, transportation is also involved with land use, planning, sustainability, social justice. so exercise in citizenship we need to define what other pieces of that, looks like awareness, observation, courtesy, stability and responsibility. so a research question and in a public awareness question follow from that. my friend and colleague doctor david letcher encouraged me to ask this group, how can we define the elements of skillful driving, we're getting research on danger and distractible driving.
because honestly i'm a bit confused between mr. gladys, yesterday that driving is a very easy thing to do, and work that i read like traffic this is driving is one of the most difficult things that we do if we are not nervous. so it's more than just avoiding crashes which is imperative, but what are the other elements of skillful driving? and then a question, do any of you all in the room we members of something called the national driving test which was on network tv i believe in the '60s. either as a kid who's a real fun thing for me to do with my family and also with my parents. it was presenting some research, some safety facts. it made it fun. made it competitive and helped prepare me for being a good driver later in life. so research question about the almonds of skillful driving, and public awareness question, how do we recapture something like the national driving test. thank you.
>> just a quick comment if i may. it would be wonderful if we could have a train program that would get everyone to recognize rationally the risk that they take when they are driving. and to change their driving dramatically. but our experience with educational programs, whether they are 14 when you're learning to drive, whether they are for drivers who have been ticketed one time too many, and they have to take a remedial course. whenever we look at what those courses do, there is essentially no effect. they do learn how to avoid tickets, but they don't typically learn how to avoid crashes. so i think that back to what chuck was saying in his rule number one, we need to identify what works. we are talking a lot about about education here, and what a lot of people here have talked about, their personal actions are really good for getting
building the public support. for things that work. because it will require some intrusion to find things that were. we need a public support, but you know we also had to find the things that work. and to implement those. because otherwise, all this education doesn't do us much good. >> face, he did. i think we only have time unfortunately for one more question. let's take it from the web. >> all right. working community advocates of any age go for information to support state laws on testing and cell phone use while driving. >> at the national safety council at our website. we have a ton of information. we've got david who you heard who heads up our initiatives around this. we have got a lot of safety and acid in a variety of different states and you will find a bucket load of very helpful information. and you will find links to other
websites also. >> that you. i would like to thank the panelists and all of you who will participate in the last day in the past for making the discussions and learned that we have about the problem monumental. so thanks, panel. [applause] >> okay. yesterday secretary lahood open the song by saying the meeting represents the start of a new effort at the national level to address the distracted driving. we have heard a lot of information and insightful presentations and discussions over the course of the last day and a half, as well as very poignant reminders of the families of the victims on what date back why this work is so important that we are about to do. this summit has it is really now my pleasure to introduce the secretary of transportation, secretary lahood. [applause]
>> thank you very much, ron. and on behalf of everyone at the department of transportation, i want to thank all of you very much for your time and effort over the past day and a half. keeping americans safe is without question the federal government's highest priority, and that includes safety on the road. the fact that 300 people, all of you, and 5000 on the web, are you to participate in this groundbreaking effort suggests that you share our priorities and our concerns. your work will help both government and the private sector to address distracted driving through better use of transportation and safety technology, telecommunications, law enforcement, research, and
other methods. based on the recommendations you develop, in the past day and a half, and our ongoing research at dot, we will set a new course of action. the white house has taken a very good first step. last evening, president obama issued an executive order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging, one, while driving government-owned vehicles, too, when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving, and three, while driving privately owned vehicles when they are on official government business. [applause]