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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Head Up, Phone Down When Headed Back to School

VIOHS is committed to reducing the number of distracted drivers. (VIOHS photo)

As children head out to school and every day, there is only one priority and that is making sure they get home safely. The Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety announced in a press release Tuesday that it is committed to reducing traffic crashes caused by distracted driving and distracted walking associated with the use of mobile devices.

Share these essential year-round tips with your children before they go out:

• Never walk while texting or talking on the phone

• If texting, step aside and stop on the sidewalk.

• Avoid crossing streets with electronic devices engaged.

• Do not walk with headphones on your ears.

• Stay mindful of your surroundings.

“Many distractions exist when driving. Cell phones stand out as a significant factor due to their frequent use throughout the day,” stated VIOHS Director Daphne O’Neal. “While we often observe other distracted drivers, we may not always realize when we lose focus.”

A survey conducted by the National Safety Council revealed that 53 percent of drivers believe vehicles equipped with “infotainment” dashboards and hands-free technology to be safe. However, these technologies can divert the driver’s attention, even after use. New technology in vehicles may be causing drivers to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before. Multitasking technology is about convenience, not safety. Drivers must remain attentive in school zones and neighborhoods, as no situation justifies phone use while driving. Remember, one call or text can alter everything, according to the press release.

For more information or to request a traffic safety presentation, contact the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety through Director Daphne O’Neal at daphne.oneal@vipd.vi.gov, Impaired Driving Coordinator, K’ Tonya Petrus at k’tonya.petrus@vi.gov. You may also contact the office via telephone at (340) 772-3025 or (340) 513-5291.

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