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 |  Oct 02 2010, 3:44 AM

The 2010 national Distracted Driving Summit was designed to shine a light on the dangers of distracted driving, and it’s not just us regular drivers that are getting a stern warning in the form of a law. It’s also commercial truck and bus drivers who are banned from texting while driving.

This new ban covers drivers who transport hazardous materials, commercial truck and bus drivers, and rail operators. Many companies have already jumped on the band wagon – already, 1,600 corporations have banned distracted driving (this affects 10.5 million drivers), while another 500 companies will follow suit in the next year.

The pilot enforcement campaigns have been running in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York. In Hartford, Connecticut 4,956 tickets have been passed out to texting or talking drivers, while in Syracuse, New York, another 4,446 citations have been issued. These results show that efforts have already dramatically reduced distracted driving behavior in both cities.

In addition to these new policies, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been working closely with the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) to engage the private sector to promote anti-distracted driving policies in the workplace.

Distracted driving in a huge issue and the numbers don’t lie. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009.