Rep. Rice Introduces New Bill to Create a Distracted Driving Education Grant Program

At an event today at Mineola High School as part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, Rice announced new legislation that will provide $5 million in competitive grant funding to support public education programs that ...

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U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice during an event at Mineola High School.

Photo by: Office of NY Rep. Kathleen Rice

Long Island, NY - December 4, 2017 - U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice today introduced new legislation that will authorize the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to award a total of $5 million in competitive grant funding to non-profit organizations working to educate the public and prevent distracted driving in communities across the country. Rice announced the new effort today during an event at Mineola High School as part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, which works to educate the public about the risks of distracted driving and encourage people to pledge that they will never drive distracted again.
The legislation has been endorsed by the National Safety Council.
“We’ve made a lot of progress raising awareness about the risks of distracted driving, but it’s still on the rise, causing thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “People are still texting while they drive, even as they learn more about the risks, and every year we have millions of new drivers who have grown up with smartphones and pressure to be connected at all times.
“That’s why I participate in events like we held today at Mineola High School, and that’s why I’m introducing new legislation to provide a total of $5 million in competitive grant funding to support organizations that are helping to raise awareness and prevent distracted driving,” Rice continued. “We need to keep strengthening our laws and enforcement strategies, and we need to keep learning the best ways to actually change people’s behavior and make them choose not to risk their lives by distracting themselves behind the wheel. That was my message to the students today, and my new bill will support those who are driving that message in communities across the country and help guide us to the best strategies we can use to address this epidemic.”
“Distraction is a leading killer on our roads today,” said Jane Terry, senior director of Government Affairs at the National Safety Council. “We applaud Rep. Rice for taking a leadership role on this issue. We look forward to working with her and all her colleagues to eliminate preventable traffic deaths and get the nation on the Road to Zero.”
The full text of the Distracted Driving Education Act of 2017 is available here.