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National Transportation Safety Board: Distracted Driving Roundtable: Act to End Deadly Distractions
Columbia, Missouri (Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019) — The National Transportation Safety Board hosted the 4th roundtable on distracted driving on October 29th in Columbia, Missouri in conjunction with the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, StopDistractions.org, and the University of Missouri. NTSB's Vice Chairman, Bruce Landsberg facilitated the event which featured industry, legislative, advocacy, law enforcement and government participants to discuss the dangers of distracted driving in Missouri and throughout the nation.
The goal of this roundtable was to increase awareness about the ongoing dangers of distracted driving, especially in Missouri; advancing advocacy efforts to end distracted driving, and the possibility of legislative progress in 2020.
Highway crashes are a leading cause of death and injury nationwide, with nearly 10% of traffic fatalities due to distracted driving.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation in 2018: there were 79 fatalities, 19,239 total crashes, 564 serious and 7,345 total injuries involving a distracted driver.
Currently, Missouri doesn't have legislation which bans cellphone use while driving or text messaging while driving. Actually, Missouri is one of only two states that still has yet to pass legislation which prohibits text messaging while driving for all motorists. The issue of distracted driving is on the National Transportation Safety Board's 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements specifically listed as "Eliminate Distractions".
The roundtable was livestreamed at: https://livestream.com/accounts/13547932/events/8865336
The roundtable featured various survivor advocates, researchers, regulators, and safety advocates in a wide-ranging, in-depth discussion of what can be done to reduce the deadly toll taken by distracted drivers in Missouri.
A list of the panelists in attendance:
Rick Birt, Director SADD
Molli Hurley SADD
Representative Kip Kendrick (Distinguished Guest) Missouri House of Representatives
Representative Nate Tate (Distinguished Guest) Missouri House of Representatives
Representative Gretchen Bangert (Distinguished Guest) Missouri House of Representatives
Nicole Hood MoDOT State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer
Jennifer Smith StopDistractions.org
Mayor Carrie Tergin Jefferson City (state capital)
Susan DeCourcy NHTSA Region 7 Administrator
John Miller FHWA Safety Engineer
Captain John Hotz Missouri State Highway Patrol, Public Information Director
Dr. Carlos Sun University of Missouri
Sergeant Curtis Perkins Columbia PD
Richard Stone City of Columbia, Vision Zero
Deana Dothage ThinkFirst
Flint Walton Missouri Employers Mutual
Kevin Gamble State Farm
Lawrence Simonson PedNet, Chief Strategy Officer
Katherine Van den Bogert National Safety Council
Kyreon Lee KRCG 13
Officer Stephanie Ihrig St. Louis County Police
Robert Horsch American Motorcycle Association
Joshua Stilley Emergency Medicine
Hilary Segura American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA)
Doug Horn Attorney at Law, Road Safety Advocate
Frank Travis Survivor Advocate, (lost his daughter Brittany Travis)
Mike Haynes, AT&T
This roundtable offered a range of potential solutions, ranging from stronger laws, education initiatives, and other needed steps to reduce distracted driving crashes, injuries and fatalities. What do you think should be done to prevent and end distracted driving once and for all?