New CDOT campaign highlights harsher distracted driving law
Officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation say an average of 40 distracted drivers crash their vehicles each day in Colorado. With that in mind, the agency is trying to raise awareness for a new law that dramatically raises the penalties for such violations.
On June 1, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that increases someone’s first distracted driving offense from a $50 fine and one point off his or her driver’s license to a $300 fine and four points.
“Twenty-two percent of surveyed Coloradans admit to having read a message recently while driving, 64 percent selected entertainment on a mobile device and 33 percent talked on a hand-held phone,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s transportation safety director, in a prepared statement announcing CDOT’s new Drop the Distraction campaign. “The stats are alarming. The dangers of using your phone while driving are very real. We hope that by recognizing the increased risk, drivers will defer using their hand-held devices while driving thus leading to improved safety on our roadways.”
The campaign will feature ads on Pandora, traffic radio and 250,000 coffee sleeves at 70 coffee shops across the Denver metro area. CDOT is also putting out ads on TV, digital platforms, search-engine marketing and paid social media.
For more about the campaign, visit bit.ly/dropthedistraction.
Additonally, CDOT is seeking volunteers for a series of short testimonial videos about the dangers of distracted driving. In particular, CDOT is hoping to find people who have been hit by a distracted driver, have been a passenger in a vehicle that caused a crash because of distracted driving or are emergency-service personnel or law enforcement who have seen firsthand the effects of distracted driving.
Interested volunteers can apply at distraction.codot.gov.