U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

April 05, 2023

Local Law Enforcement is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region 7, which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska for the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement campaign. From April 3-10, 2023, law enforcement officers will work together to enforce texting and distracted driving laws.

According to NHTSA, 32,483 people died in distraction-affected crashes over the ten-year period from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, there were 3,142 deaths linked to driver distraction or 8% of all motor-vehicle crash fatalities. This is a slight increase in fatalities compared to 2019.

Research shows that younger drivers, particularly in the Millennials and Generation Z cohorts, are the most distracted drivers.

“Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads, and most of this distraction is attributed to texting while driving,” said Regional Administrator Susan DeCourcy. Beginning April 3, drivers will see increased law enforcement efforts across the country and throughout our region. Law enforcement officers will be enforcing state-based texting laws to reduce distracted driving. If you drive and text, you will pay,” she added.

Drive Safe Every Trip. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:

If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.

Enter all device navigation coordinates before putting your car into drive. If you need to alter your trip, ask a passenger to make adjustments or pull over to a safe location and put your car in park first.

Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving