Evaluation of NHTSA Distracted Driving Demonstration Projects in Connecticut and New York

The communities of Hartford, Connecticut, and Syracuse, New York, implemented year-long campaigns to test whether National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA’s) high-visibility enforcement (HVE) model could be applied to reduce two specific forms of distracted driving – driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone or texting. The HVE model applies strong laws, vigorous targeted law enforcement, extensive media that emphasizes the enforcement, and evaluation. Both sites conducted 4 waves of enforcement between April 2010 and April 2011. NHTSA developed and bought television and radio spots featuring the tag line Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other. Both sites generated ample earned media. Police wrote 100 to 200 citations per 10,000 population for each wave in each site. Driver surveys showed an increase in awareness that cell phone laws were being enforced and recognition of the new slogan. Observed hand-held driver cell phone use dropped from 6.6% to 2.9% in Hartford, and from 3.7% to 2.5% in Syracuse. Connecticut’s control area also showed a decrease in use (from 6.6% to 5.6%) but not to the same extent as Hartford. New York’s control area had similar decreases (5% to 3%), perhaps a result of separate enforcement campaigns running simultaneously in the control site. The results show that high-visibility enforcement campaigns can reduce the number of people who use hand-held cell phones while driving.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 80p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01523806
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 811 635
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-06-D-00047
  • Created Date: Apr 28 2014 3:26PM