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Backed by safety advocates from around Jacksonville, Mayor Alvin Brown and Terrell Hogan President Wayne Hogan, a distracted driving prevention advocate, announced new actions on Friday to curb distracted driving in Jacksonville.

Credit: City of Jacksonville

Credit: City of Jacksonville

“I commend Mayor Brown and the City of Jacksonville for adopting and implementing a new distracted driving policy to help keep city employees and the public safer on our streets and highways. I urge employers to follow the city and other employers by adopting policies to end, and definitely diminish, distracted driving,” Hogan said.

Mayor Brown signed a proclamation declaring April 3, 2015, as “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All Day” and asked all residents to help spread awareness against the dangers of using their phones while driving by joining him in signing a new pledge to end distracted driving.

To further the effort, Mayor Brown issued new executive orders to promote best safety practices among city employees, with certain exclusions for police, fire and rescue personnel, that would ban them from texting or talking on their phones while driving for the City – even hands-free. Wayne Hogan assisted with shaping the city’s distracted driving policy and will present For the Workforce to City of Jacksonville employees to educate them about both the science and dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving crashes killed 3,154 people and injured 424,000 people in the US in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Distracted driving is an epidemic that steals lives. It kills as many people – every year – as polio did in its worst year,” Hogan said. “The dangers of texting and driving are well known, but talking on the phone – even hands-free – is an insidious danger that many assume is safe. Don’t be fooled; it’s not. You could lose your life or take someone else’s if your brain is miles away on a call.”

The Terrell Hogan Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign provides two free educational presentations to area teen and adult drivers. The presentation for teens, End Distracted Driving, was created by the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, and there’s one for adults called For the Workforce. Since 2012, 5,172 high school students and adults have seen the presentations. Click here to learn more about the presentations.

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