Wayne Hogan was the headline speaker at the Jacksonville Transit Authority’s Safety Lunch and Learn meeting on November 4th, where it launched its “Keep it in your Pocket!” campaign to increase public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA) executives and key social media influencers attended the event. They were asked to help spread the word and encourage everyone to take the pocket pledge and not use their phones while behind the wheel.
JTA buses travel 8.7 million miles and provide more than 11 million trips per year. The agency noticed a recent uptick in accidents, including an accident in which a JTA bus was stopping to let off a passenger and hit from behind by a vehicle that didn’t stop. The goal of the campaign is to prevent future distracted driving accidents.
In his talk, Hogan said distracted driving endangers the passengers on the buses, the drivers sharing the road with them and the JTA bus drivers (Hogan noted that JTA has a no tolerance policy in place for its drivers). He explained how one text or call can wreck it all, and that despite common awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, many drivers are under the misconception that talking and driving – especially hands-free – is safe. It’s not. That’s because our brains cannot multi-task; they do not do two things at once well; instead, they “attention switch,” between tasks, known as cognitive distraction. Adding to the problem: dashboard technology in new vehicles that encourage constant connectivity. Hogan concluded, “Hands-free is not what it’s cracked up to be.”
He also delved into the legal consequences of causing an accident – for both the employee and employer – and provided a sample of a cell phone policy.
Since The Terrell • Hogan Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign launched in 2012, its two presentations For the Workforce, for adults, and End Distracted Driving, for teens, have reached nearly 6,000 people on the First Coast. Both presentations are free. Click here to request a presentation.
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