Do texting-while-driving bans work?

Examining the implications of legislation and enforcement on electronic device use while driving


Many states, local jurisdictions, and Canadian provinces have laws restricting or banning the use of electronic devices for talking or texting while driving. Because the laws vary among jurisdictions, are they effective in deterring distracted driving and difficult to enforce?

The National Academy of Sciences reached out to Westat to find the answers.


Westat will examine existing laws and cluster states and Canadian provinces by characteristics of their distracted driving laws and populations.

A sample of 20 locations will receive an in-depth review of their

  • Distracted driving laws
  • Educational and outreach efforts
  • Enforcement strategies
  • Legislative challenges and successes

This review will be supplemented by telephone discussions with state and provincial representatives to better understand how their laws were enacted.

We will develop a model and guidance on best practices for developing, educating on, enforcing, and adjudicating legislation.


Presentations and materials developed will identify key factors for crafting and enacting effective legislation.

In addition, different techniques will be identified that can be customized to implement education and enforcement programs that will best resonate with community residents.


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