Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Dieter H Blattler, Traffic Safety Coordinator
April 5, 2011
The Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section organized a sign-waving event on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo on Monday (April 4). As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared April “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” this event was to remind motorists about the dangers of the use of electronic devices while driving—especially talking and texting.
The Traffic Services Section was supported by Sergeant Gali and Officer Davies of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, members of the Impaired Driving Task Force, representatives of the Office of Social Ministry (HOPE HAWAI’I), MADD Victims Advocate Ashley Drake and private citizens.
Dieter Blattler, Traffic Safety Coordinator at the Hawai’i Police Department, said that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways in 2009 and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. Sixteen percent of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. Of those people killed in distracted-driving-related crashes, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction.
“These numbers are on the rise,” Blattler said. “That’s why we all need to change our attitude about the use of electronic devices!”