U.S. Cosponsors U.N. Resolution to Fight Texting and Driving
7:02 AM, Apr 11, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While crises continue in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, and the Central African Republic, the United Nations turned its attention to a different kind of crisis on Thursday: the "global road safety crisis." The U.N. General Assembly held a session on Improving Global Road Safety in which the United States cosponsored a resolution "which calls for laws to fight texting and driving."
Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted the following:
In her remarks at the session, Power noted that although "improvements in road design, traffic management, safety equipment, and emergency response" could help reduce the 1.2 million annual worldwide traffic fatalities, "Most important, however, is driver behavior." She continued:
It is unclear how the push for such bans will fare, particularly in less developed countries where drivers routinely take shortcuts on sidewalks, and red lights and stop signs often seem optional. However, Power cited a new law just passed in Maryland that was named for Jake Owen, a five-year-old who was killed when a distracted driver rammed the boy's family's car. The law increases penalties for drivers found responsible for causing an accident while talking on a cell phone or texting.
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