Four High-Visibility Enforcement Demonstration Waves in Connecticut and New York Reduce Hand-Held Phone Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated distracted driving demonstration programs in two communities to test whether a high-visibility enforcement (HVE) model could reduce two specific instances of distracted driving—talking or texting using a hand-held cell phone. The HVE model combines dedicated law enforcement during a specified period, paid and earned media that emphasizes an enforcement-based message, and evaluation before and after. NHTSA’s best known
and most successful HVE campaign is the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization. HVE has also been effective in combating aggressive driving, impaired driving, and speeding. The demonstration projects were aimed to test whether HVE would be effective in modifying driver behavior to not use hand-held phones to talk or text, whether law enforcement would be able to observe violations, and whether an HVE campaign would increase drivers’ perceived risk of receiving a citation for violating the law.

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