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Back to Archives | Back to December 2009 Contents 

Highway Safety Initiatives

Highway Safety Committee Policy Recommendation

Major David A. Salmon, Director of Traffic Services for the New York State Police, represented the IACP and its Highway Safety Committee at the U.S. Secretary of Transportation’s Distracted Driving Summit on September 30 and October 1, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The Highway Safety Committee discussed at its annual meeting on October 4, 2009, the summit’s proceedings and unanimously adopted the following policy recommendation, which it intends to submit next year as a resolution for approval by the IACP membership.

Law Enforcement Policy Recommendation to Reduce Distracted Driving

WHEREAS, handheld mobile communications technologies have proliferated in recent years and have become common in society; and

WHEREAS, mobile telephones and portable electronic devices require user attention; and

WHEREAS, use of such devices while driving is known to be detrimental to safety; and

WHEREAS, research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that distracted driving behaviors contributed to more than 5,000 traffic deaths and more than 500,000 injuries in 2008; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement officers are often required to operate a variety of communications and enforcement equipment in the performance of their official duties, and the use of additional handheld devices may contribute to distracted driving by law enforcement officers on patrol; and

WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon law enforcement officers to enhance safety by demonstrating safe driving practices;

It is hereby RECOMMENDED by the Highway Safety Committee that all law enforcement agencies adopt policies to prohibit use of handheld communications and portable electronic devices not necessary to the performance of their official duties while a vehicle is in motion.


From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 12, December 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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