St. Augustine's Elissa Schee Featured in the U.S. Department of Transportation's New Video Series | People

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St. Augustine's Elissa Schee Featured in the U.S. Department of Transportation's New Video Series
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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today launched “Faces of Distracted Driving,” an online video series exploring the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving.  The series features people from across the country, including St. Augustine’s Elissa Schee, who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes.  In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver.

WATCH: “Faces of Distracted Driving” – www.distraction.gov/faces “These videos are dramatic evidence that the lives lost to America’s distracted driving epidemic aren’t statistics.  They’re children, parents, neighbors, and friends,” said Secretary LaHood.  “These people have courageously come forward to share their personal tragedies in order to warn others against making the dangerous decision to talk or text behind the wheel.”

One of the first people featured in the series is Elissa Schee from St. Augustine, Florida.  Her 13-year-old daughter Margay was killed in 2008 when a semi-truck crashed into the back of her school bus in Citra, Florida.  The truck driver was talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash and said he never saw the bus.

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vB22cW1ZMY

“Distracted driving crashes are 100% preventable,” Elissa Schee said.  “No one should ever have to get that phone call saying their son or daughter is gone.  I hope that, by sharing my story, other parents never have to go through what I did.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraging others who would like to share their experiences with distracted driving to post videos on YouTube and email the links to: faces@distraction.gov.

“Faces of Distracted Driving” is part of Secretary LaHood’s effort to raise public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to support victims.  In January, Secretary LaHood joined anti-distracted driving advocate Jennifer Smith to announce the creation of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending distracted driving.  Elissa Schee, featured in today’s launch, is also one of the organization’s founding board members.

“Distracted driving can have dangerous and life-altering consequences,” said FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith.  “These videos will hopefully help change behaviors behind the wheel and keep our roads safe for everyone.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving is a multi-modal effort that includes automobiles, trains, planes, and commercial vehicles.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a rule prohibiting rail employees from using cell phones or other electronic devices on the job following a September 2008 Metrolink crash in Chatsworth, California that killed 25 people.

After a Northwest flight crew distracted by a laptop overshot their destination by 150 miles, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised air carriers to create and enforce policies that limit distractions in the cockpit and keep pilots focused on transporting passengers safely.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a ban on text messaging while operating a commercial motor vehicle in January 2010.  A rulemaking proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in September 2010 to work in conjunction with the FMCSA ban would restrict the use of electronic devices by drivers during the operation of a motor vehicle containing hazardous materials.  Notice of the proposed rulemaking has been posted, and the public is invited to comment.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.                          ...

 

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