Idaho's Governor Little proclaims April to be
To save lives and educate Idahoans about the dangers of inattentive driving, Governor Brad Little has proclaimed April 2019 as Engaged Driving Awareness Month in Idaho.
To increase engaged driving, the Idaho Transportation Department is working with businesses from across the state to promote engaged driving among their employees.
An event was held Thursday, April 4 at the Boise operations office of Idaho Power to challenge businesses to keep their workforces stay engaged in the drive. Idaho Power is one of the local businesses, along wirh Norco and Western States Equipment, that has recently implemented engaged-driving policies in their workplaces to ensure employee safety.
"Safety is a priority for ITD, and we commend our partners in the public and private sectors who are taking steps to eliminate distracted driving from their workforce," said ITD Highway Safety Manager John Tomlinson. "These efforts extend beyond the workplace and make our roads safer for everyone."
In the past five years, Idaho has lost 236 lives to distracted driving, with an average of almost 5,000 distracted-driving crashes per year. ITD has joined Idaho Power, Western States Cat, Norco, and Franklin Building Supply in this effort to prevent distracted driving crashes.
"We are so grateful for these wonderful partnerships," said ITD Chief Deputy Scott Stokes. "Each of these organizations have employees who spend a lot of time on the road and they have outstanding safety programs. We want to share what's working with other businesses around the state."
The economic cost of distracted-driving crashes was estimated to be nearly $820 million in 2017. Many of these costs come indirectly, and can affect businesses through insurance premiums and lost time and productivity.
"These crashes do represent a financial burden to businesses but the biggest cost is the human cost," Tomlinson said. "Our partners on this project value the safety of their employees and their customers -- we know there are a lot of other businesses out there who share that value and we invite them to make the shift to engaged driving with us."