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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I - Model Press Release." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26082.
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I-1 A P P E N D I X I Model Press Release

I-2 Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications This document is organized such that it: ■ Provides key components for you to consider when developing outreach messages. ■ Includes sample press releases or outreach messages organized by the type of agency and by topic. Supplement this sample text with your organization-specific information. ■ Has hyperlinks to 2018 and 2019 press releases on distracted driving that you can use as references. KEY COMPONENTS OF OUTREACH MESSAGES When developing outreach messages, it is important that you use various media outlets to deliver messages on distracted driving because doing so broadens the audience and the reach of the message. You might consider the following methods: ■ Press releases ■ Public service announcements (PSAs) for television and radio broadcast ■ Social media posts The content of the message should incorporate the following: Relevant Timing ■ The message should coincide with an event, such as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a revision to the legislation, an upcoming enforcement effort, the start of a public information and education campaign, or reporting on a crash involving distracted driving. Compelling Headline ■ The headline should be direct and informative and should grab the audience’s attention. It should also be brief, keeping in mind the character limits of different distribution platforms (e.g., Twitter: 71-100 characters; Google: 60 characters; Facebook: 40 characters). The headline should be information rich and understandable; make sure to include keywords, and depending on the platform, consider the use of hashtags. Informative Introductory Sentences ■ Include who, what, where, when, and why in the first few sentences of the message. The remaining content should support the information. Developing A Model Press Release on Deterring Electronic Device Use While Driving

Model Press Release I-3 Customized Tone and Talking Points ■ Tailor the message so that it resonates with the target audience. Use a theme and language that the audience will clearly understand. For example, for teens, it is best to use social media with hashtags, photos, and current slang; with a more rural/small town, it might be appropriate to present a more community-oriented message. ■ Modify the message so it reflects the agency conveying it. For example, certain messages will more appropriately come from law enforcement, others from practitioners, and others from safety advocates. Use of Quotations as Support ■ Supplement the facts with supporting quotes. A strong quote can make the message more compelling and can add a personal or emotional angle. The quote can come from a variety of sources, including: law enforcement, highway safety office representatives, victim advocates, members of the community, etc. A Clear Call to Action ■ Have a goal in mind when developing the message and clearly say what you want the audience to take away from the information. Provide hyperlinks to additional information as well as contact information for sources that can answer follow-up questions. Limits on Length ■ Keep the message brief to reduce the risk of losing the audience’s attention. Typically stay between 400 and 600 words for a press release, and shorter for other types of social media (Twitter, Instagram). Use of Multimedia, When Possible ■ Enliven the message by adding, when possible, multimedia elements such as photos, videos, and infographics.

I-4 Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications SAMPLE TEXT AND TALKING POINTS FOR PRESS RELEASES The bullets below provide potential sample text that can be customized for different types of media outlets and talking points related to the use of electronic devices while driving. The talking points are organized by the type of agency and information being conveyed by the message. Include additional information to customize this text for your agency, for example, details about your outreach or enforcement program (e.g., types of activities, length of time), quotes from agency representatives, agency contact information, and links to additional resources. Law Enforcement Personnel Educating the public on the law, including what behaviors are prohibited, as well as the corresponding penalties and fines Distracted driving is dangerous and it’s a crime. A vehicle traveling only 30 miles per hour covers 44 feet during every second your eyes are off the road. Looking away for just 1 to 2 seconds is long enough to drift into opposing lanes of traffic. Why put yourself and others at risk? According to [insert City or State] law, the following behaviors are prohibited [insert simplified list of prohibited behaviors] while driving. If you are caught [list prohibited behaviors] while driving, there are consequences. These include a fine of _______ [insert the fine and incremental fines for subsequent offenses] and [insert points assigned, if applicable] points on your license. Why put yourself and others at risk? Resist the risk to yourself and others. When driving, focus on driving. Follow these steps for a safer driving experience: ■ Make sure the vehicle is in park and in a safe location off the road before using the electronic device. ■ Do not look at social media, browse the internet, scroll or tap on the device, or watch a video while driving. Even if the electronic device is mounted or being used hands-free, your eyes are not on the road. Stay safe, and stay engaged in driving. ■ Enter your destination into the GPS or navigation device before starting your drive. ■ Avoid the temptation. Assign a passenger to be a “designated responder” to reply to any texts, calls, or other messages you receive while driving. If you don’t have a passenger, turn on the “Do not disturb” or similar feature on your phone. Focused driving is safer driving. Just remember [insert city, county, or state] drivers, phone in one hand [tag line can be modified to reflect the actual law, for example, for a texting-only ban], and ticket in the other.1 For more information see [insert hyperlinks and contact information]. Announcing upcoming enforcement efforts related to distracted driving Every day, about 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes involving distracted driving.2 Beginning on [insert date], [Insert law enforcement agency name] and other law enforcement agencies throughout [insert city, county, or state] will be stepping up efforts to reduce distracted driving. The goal of this enforcement campaign is to save lives. Officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is driving while distracted. Just remember [insert city, county, or state] drivers, phone in one hand [tag line can be modified to reflect the actual law], and ticket in the other. #itcanwait. 1 United States Department of Transportation. Traffic Safety Marketing. Available at: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get- materials/distracted-driving/phone-one-hand-ticket-other 2 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (no date). High visibility enforcement. Available at: https://one.nhtsa.gov?Driving- Safety/Enforcement-&-Justice-Services/HVE-enforcement.

Model Press Release I-5 General safety messages about distracted driving This is [insert name of agency representative] from the [insert law enforcement agency name]. Distracted driving is a major public health and safety concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, an estimated 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.3 Studies show that engaging in these behaviors while driving is extremely risky. It takes about 5 seconds, on average, to read or send a text. In that time, when your eyes are on your device and not on the road, a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field.4 “Cell phones have a place in our lives, but not while driving,” said former NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. Don’t become a statistic; keep your eyes off your device and on the road. Protect your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians. For more information, [insert website or contact information]. Educating the public on using the term “crash,” not “accident,” when discussing distracted driving crashes Police officers like me, [insert name], and other traffic safety advocates will tell you, “It’s no accident.” Saying the word “accident” makes it appear as though crashes are inevitable rather than preventable. In fact, many automobile crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities could be prevented if drivers made different choices. Such is the case with distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving, excessive speeding, etc. Being unsafe is no accident. For more information on safe driving tips, please see [insert hyperlinks to informative websites]. Facebook text for distracted driving enforcement Distracted driving contributes to thousands of people losing their lives each year in the United States [or replace with numbers from your state or community to make the message more relatable]. We want to stop this dangerous and deadly habit — but we need your help. Pledge to put down the phone if you’re driving, and speak up if you’re with a driver who is distracted. [Insert law enforcement agency name] will be stepping up enforcement of the distracted driving law starting on [insert date]. For more information on the law, [insert website or contact information]. Twitter text for distracted driving enforcement Do you tweet while driving? If yes, you are driving distracted and local law enforcement are looking for you. Increased enforcement during [insert dates]. #ItCanWait #JustDrive #DistractedDrivingAwarenessMonth Highway Safety Advocates & Practitioners Educating the public on the law, including what behaviors are prohibited, as well as the corresponding penalties and fines When you’re distracted, who’s driving? To help deter motorists from engaging in certain distracted driving behaviors, the state has set strict penalties. Prohibited behaviors include [insert simplified list of prohibited behaviors]. The penalties can range from [insert the lowest fine] to [insert the highest fine] in fines and up to _____ [insert points, if applicable] driver violation points, as well as suspension or revocation of your license [if applicable]. For more information on the specifics of the law, please see [insert hyperlinks to informative websites]. [Insert quote from agency representative about the importance of the law and how it helps to save lives.] 3 National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019, October). 2018 Fatal motor vehicle crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 812 826). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Available at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812826.g. 4 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (no date). Distracted driving. Available at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/ distracted-driving.

I-6 Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications Any updates to the law, what they mean, and when they will take effect Did you know that holding or using a cell phone or other electronic device can increase your risk of getting into a crash? Analyzed data from an observational study of over 3,000 drivers indicated their crash risk was two to six times greater when the drivers were manipulating a cell phone, compared with when they were not distracted5 [suggest revising the statistic to discuss the behaviors that are prohibited by your law]. The [insert state or city (in the case of a local ordinance)] law about electronic device use while driving is about to change. Effective [insert date the law goes into effect] police will now be able to stop you and issue a ticket for [insert simplified list of prohibited behaviors]. The penalties can range from $__ to $__ [insert fine range] in fines, and up to_______ [insert points, if applicable] driver violation points, and suspension or revocation of license [if applicable]. Don’t take a chance, put away your phone while driving. For additional information on the risks of distracted driving, please see [insert hyperlinks to informative websites]. For more information on the specifics of the new law and enforcement efforts see [insert hyperlinks to informative websites]. General safety messages about distracted driving, including victim advocate stories More and more people are driving while distracted—texting, sending emails, and browsing the internet or apps. Our goal is to raise awareness about this dangerous behavior and promote a culture of safety. [Insert safety related quote, for example] “We are committed to eliminating this unnecessary risk and strongly believe that no text, tweet, post, video, message, snapchat, etc., is worth the risk of crash-related death or injury,” said [insert safety advocate name]. [Insert local victim advocate story, such as this example from a press release issued by the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and DMV] Distracted driving awareness advocate Karen Torres said, “A text, a snap, a quick glance in the other direction, is all it takes to change a life forever. Safety is so incredibly important, and we need to be proactive rather than reactive. Advocacy is born out of loss, but shouldn’t be the reason to take preventive action while behind the wheel. In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, make it your personal vow to put your phone down.” Torres’s father, Patrick Mapleson, a New York State Department of Transportation highway maintenance worker, was struck and killed by a distracted driver in 2006 while working along Sunrise Highway in Eastport, NY.6 Resist the risk to yourself and others; when driving, focus on driving. Follow these steps for a safer driving experience: ■ Make sure the vehicle is in park and in a safe location off the road before using an electronic device, such as a phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch. ■ Do not look at social media, browse the internet, scroll or tap on a device, or watch a video while driving, even if the electronic device is mounted or being used hands-free. ■ Enter your destination into the GPS or navigation device before you start your drive. ■ Avoid the temptation. Assign a passenger to be a “designated responder” to reply to any texts, calls, or other messages you receive while driving. If you don’t have a passenger, turn on the “Do not disturb” or similar feature on your phone. Focused driving is safer driving. 5 Dingus, T.A., Guo, F., Lee, S., et al. (2016). Driver crash risk factors and prevalence evaluation using naturalistic driving data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(10), 2636-2641. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513271113. Kidd, D.G., and McCartt, A.T. (2015). The relevance of crash type and severity when estimating crash risk using the SHRP2 naturalistic driving data. Fourth International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. Owens, J.M., Dingus, T.A., Guo, F., et al. (2018). Crash risk of cell phone use while driving: A case-crossover analysis of naturalistic driving data. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 6 New York Department of Motor Vehicles. (2019 April 9). GTSC and DMV highlight the dangers of distracted driving. Available at: https://dmv.ny.gov/press-release/press-release-04-09-2019.

Model Press Release I-7 Distracted Driving Campaign Announcement The [insert agency name, preferably as a hyperlink to agency page] held a press conference to announce a public safety campaign and enforcement effort to reduce instances of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a major public health and safety concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018 an estimated 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.7 Distracted driving is underreported and is likely a contributing cause in far more fatal and serious injury crashes. Dialing, texting, and browsing the internet on electronic devices are some of the most common distractions while driving. Studies show that engaging in these behaviors while driving is extremely risky. It takes about 5 seconds, on average, to read or send a text. In that time, when a driver’s eyes are on a device and not on the road, a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field.8 [Insert agency name] is launching a new public service announcement campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The new campaign will be featured on [insert media sources, e.g., radio, billboards, social media, highway transit signs]. State and local police will also launch an enforcement campaign focused on distracted driving, which will take place [insert location and dates]. Twitter Text on Assigning a Designated Texter Have a friend or family member who won’t stop Tiktok-ing, hash-tagging, Instagram-ing, or texting while driving? #SpeakUp and offer to be the #Designatedtexter. #ItCanWait 7 National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019 October). 2018 Fatal motor vehicle crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 812 826). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Available at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812826. 8 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (no date). Distracted driving. Available at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky- driving/ distracted-driving

I-8 Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS ARTICLES AND PRESS RELEASES Below are links to articles and press releases on the topic of distracted driving: ■ Drop it and Drive Infographic Twitter, January 23, 2020 ■ Survey: Majority of Central Iowans Distracted on the Road - and It’s Killing Us, October 8, 2019 ■ Distracted Driving Campaign to Begin August 1, July 31, 2019 ■ Sample Social Media Posts, April 2019 ■ GTSC, DMV Highlight Dangers of Distracted Driving, April 9, 2019 ■ Most Baltimore-area Drivers Use Cell Phones Behind the Wheel, Regardless of Generation, April 4, 2019 ■ Distracted Driving Awareness Month Kicks off Monday, March 31, 2019 ■ Travelers Risk Index Reveals Seven Scary Stats Behind Distracted Driving, March 29, 2019 ■ U.S. DOT and NHTSA Kickoff 5th Annual U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign, April 5, 2018 Hyperlinks for the above articles and press releases are available on the online version of this report, which can be found by going to www.TRB.org and searching for "BTSCRP Research Report 1."

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Distracted driving is a complex and ever-increasing risk to public safety on roadways. Drivers’ use of electronic devices significantly diverts human attention resources away from the driving task. The enforcement community faces significant challenges as electronic device use has expanded beyond simply texting or talking. Legislation regulating electronic device use while driving is inconsistent in content and implementation.

The TRB Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program's BTSCRP Research Report 1: Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications presents the results of an examination of the current state and provincial legislation on electronic device use while driving; evaluates the benefits and impediments associated with enacting, enforcing, and adjudicating electronic device use; and proposes model legislation and educational materials that can be used by relevant stakeholders to enact a law and educate key individuals on the importance of the law.

Supplemental the report is a presentation for law enforcement.

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