Texting truckers focus of West Virginia ‘Phone Down, Just Drive’ campaign

New Kent County West Virginia deputies — teaming up with Drive SMART Virginia — have launched a new national pilot initiative called “Phone Down, Just Drive” focusing on enforcing the federal regulation that bans truck drivers from using handheld devices behind the wheel.

The national pilot program was launched recently in New Kent County and within three weeks deputies issued 100 tickets to truckers for illegally using handheld devices while driving, according to a report by WAVY News.

Drive SMART Virginia handed out pamphlets at area rest stops this week, as deputies patrolled the Interstate 64 corridor for violators of the texting ban.

“The goal of this campaign is to not write tickets,” said Janet Brooking, a spokesperson for Drive SMART Virginia. “The goal is to have increased enforcement and a huge education campaign.”

If successful in Virginia, the “Phone Down, Just Drive” program could expand into other states as early as next year.

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