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Distracted Driving Enforcement Test Markets
In the early nineties, when marketers wanted to know if a clear malt beverage called Zima would sell, they tested it in Syracuse, NY. Apparently, enough Syracusans bought it and the product went to market (for better or worse).
Now that the Department of Transportation wants to know if distracted driving laws can be effectively enforced to reduce reckless driving, where do they go to implement their pilot program? That's right. Syracuse, NY (this author's hometown) ... and Hartford, CT.
Using the combination of tactics that have worked well for drunk driving and seatbelt use -- legislation, enforcement, public outreach, and the support of industry and advocacy groups -- the USDOT is will work with local law enforcement officials to undertake a highly visible enforcement effort.
In interviews, law enforcement officials tell me that texting and cell phone laws can be effectively enforced. Studies have shown the impacts; they also reveal the importance of high-visibility enforcement. Hopefully, this concerted effort in Syracuse and Hartford will generate further evidence for the effectiveness of these multi-faceted campaigns.