The Office of the Press Secretary at the White House announced last week that December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The proclamation, signed by our President Barack Obama, reminds us during this holiday season that we must be vigilant while driving to our friends and families for parties and celebrations to ensure that we remain safe.
The purpose of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is urge Americans to make responsible decisions and to take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving this month and every month. The proclamation stresses that families play a key role in preventing impaired driving. Impaired driving includes any behavior that takes a drivers focus away from the roadway. This includes driving drunk, drugged or distracted. Distracted driving includes driving while talking on the phone, texting, or playing with the radio. It can also include driving while doing any other task, including adjusting the temperature, corralling children or pets, or even having an involved conversation. The release also reminds us that drugged driving includes driving while taking prescription medications, so be sure to read all warning labels carefully prior to driving to make sure that your medication will not affect your ability to drive safely. The President recommends that parents talk to their children about the risks of impaired driving and set guidelines and expectations for young drivers in the family, Additionally, parents, educators and other caregivers should set a good example for their children and family members by never driving in an impaired state.
The President and his administration are taking steps to ensure that we all drive without distractions. These steps include raising public awareness, improve impaired driving screening procedures, and giving law enforcement the training they need to both punish and prevent impaired driving. They are also combating substance abuse by supporting local prevention programs and providing youth with the harsh facts about alcohol and drug use and the negative affects it can have on our lives.