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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Representing the 8th District of Illinois

Congressman Krishnamoorthi Applauds Safety Advocates for Supporting Distracted Driving Prevention

May 6, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – On the heels of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08), and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) introduced the bipartisan States Afforded Funding Extensions To Oppose Driving Recklessly In Vehicular Engagements (SAFE TO DRIVE) Act, which creates two supplemental grants for states to use for distracted driving prevention.

Distracted driving–driving while also trying to text, call, clean, eat, or undertake any other activity–killed nearly 4,000 people in 2016, with more than 400,000 people injured in crashes connected to a distracted driver. The legislation aims to reduce these numbers by giving states more resources to educate drivers and help enforce distracted driving laws. Following the bill’s introduction, Congressman Krishnamoorthi commended his co-sponsors and the broad coalition of safety advocacy groups which endorsed the legislation.

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with my colleagues and safety advocates to develop this legislation to address distracted driving and save lives,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “Distracted driving poses an enormous risk to public safety but the SAFE TO DRIVE Act will help us combat this threat.”

“Distracted driving is a scourge on our nation’s roadways. The bipartisan SAFE TO DRIVE Act provides a sensible incentive to upgrade state laws to curb this deadly epidemic and save lives.  It also will provide states with critical resources to help eradicate this dangerous trend. We commend Congressmen Krishnamoorthi, Gallagher and Cohen for their leadership on this issue and urge Congress to swiftly pass this bill,” said Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

“With drivers becoming increasingly reliant on mobile devices, distracted driving has unfortunately experienced a sharp uptick too. Research has found that talking on a cell phone behind the wheel quadruples a driver’s risk of an accident, and that risk doubles if the driver is texting. Thank you to Representatives Krishnamoorthi, Gallagher, and Cohen for their bipartisan effort to reduce distracted driving and create safer roads and highways for all,” said Saat Alety, Director of Federal Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Allstate.

“Distracted driving is a persistent threat to every motorist’s safety,” said Nick Smith, interim president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “To change behavior, states need a combination of education, legislation and strong enforcement. All three are possible with the grants provided under the SAFE TO DRIVE Act. We applaud Congressman Krishnamoorthi and Congressman Gallagher for their leadership on this issue, especially as we close out Distracted Driving Awareness Month.”

The SAFE TO DRIVE Act is endorsed by organizations, including: Allstate Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, State Farm Insurance, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, and the National Safety Council.