Senate targets texting in new ‘distracted driving’ program

That bill will be one of three that the Senate hopes to combine and approve as a “minibus” spending bill as early as this week.

According to the report language, the bill would pull $10 million, or roughly 20 percent, out of a federal program that offers “safety belt performance grants” to states, and use that money to create a new “distracted driver incentive” grant program. The report says the money would be given to states that “enact and enforce laws to prevent distracted driving with a focus on texting bans.”

The bill would also require $5 million of the funds to be set aside “for the development, production, and use of broadcast and print media advertising to support enforcement of State laws to prevent distracted driving.”

Senate appropriators said nearly 5,500 people were killed and another 448,000 injured because of distracted driving in 2009.


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