The Improving Driver Safety Act would help more states access critical funding for enforcement and public education to curb distracted driving; driver inattention and distraction has been the most common factor contributing to motor vehicle crashes in Minnesota
Sherya Dixit died in 2007 on a ride home from college when the driver turned to grab something from the back seat and crashed the car; Sherya’s family started a Memorial Foundation in her honor
MINNEAPOLIS, MN –U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar joined the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation to announce bipartisan legislation to help crack down on distracted driving. The Improving Driver Safety Act would help more states access critical funding for enforcement and public education to curb distracted driving. Klobuchar was joined by the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation, Minnesota AT&T President Paul Weirtz, and Minnesotans for Safe Driving.
“As the mother of a 19 year-old, driver safety is something that is on my mind literally every day,” said Klobuchar. “The numbers are staggering – across the country distracted driving caused more than 86,000 crashes between 2009 and 2013. Beyond the statistics, it is the real people who have lost their lives and real families still suffering that are the true call to action and why we need to stop distracted driving.”
Klobuchar has introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) that would expand access an existing grant program that provides funds to states taking steps to curb distracted driving. In 2014, seventy-percent of the funds were unused with only one state receiving funds through the program. The Improving Driving Safety Act would adjust the requirements to ensure more states, including Minnesota, that are taking steps to curb distracted driving aren’t prevented from qualifying for receiving funds.
There were more than 86,000 crashes attributed to distracted driving between 2009 and 2013. It is reported that nine people die every day and more than 1,000 are injured due to accidents involving distracted driving. In Minnesota, the Department of Public Safety reports that each year in Minnesota driver inattention and distraction contributes to nearly one in four crashes resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries.