U.S. Transportation Officials Plan Campaign To Crack Down On Distracted Drivers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a new national campaign to crack down on distracted driving.

The agency is kicking off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

LINK: Learn more at the Maria's Message page.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the initiative at a press conference with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement.

Also in attendance was Liz Marks, who survived a distracted driving accident to tell her story.

“Later I learned from that police that her car accident was caused because she was texting and driving," said Betty Shaw, Liz’s mother.  "Something she told me she never did, so I was mad, I was angry.  So I checked her phone and her last text message said, 'ok.'  Then, to my horror, I realized it was from me.”

"We're still losing more than 3,000 lives every year and hundreds of thousands are injured because of crashes caused by distraction," Foxx said.  

As part of the new campaign, the department rolled out a series of new public service announcements using the phrase "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." The ads will run from April 7-15.

10TV's Dom Tiberi is working with Ohio lawmakers to name September "Distracted Driving Awareness Month." Dom's daughter, Maria, was killed in a crash last September.  He and his wife formed Maria's Message to spread the work about the dangers of distracted driving.