Tysons, Va. – The 495 and 95 Express Lanes together with regional transportation leaders and Washington Redskins starting quarterback Kirk Cousins today launched the “Phone Down. Touchdown.” safe driving campaign to combat the regional safety issue of driving while distracted. The campaign aims to reach regional drivers about the risks of driving distracted due to cell phone use. The safety initiative will especially focus on younger motorists who are more likely to use a mobile device while behind the wheel.
“I’ve made a career out of playing offense. But when I’m behind the wheel, I drive defensively. No text or phone call is worth risking your life or the lives of others,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins. “I’m honored to partner with Transurban and other Virginia Transportation leaders on the Phone Down. Touchdown. campaign to get drivers to put down their phones and make our roads safer.”
“The safety of our customers and our region’s travelers is our top priority,” said Jennifer Aument, group general manager, Transurban, operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. “Distracted driving is a continuing challenge in the Greater Washington area, especially among younger drivers. Together with our partners, we want reach these drivers and remind them of the danger of taking their attention off the road to use a mobile device.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This group has the largest share of drivers who were distracted at the time of a crash. Further, drivers in their 20s make up 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but comprise 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.1
“Distracted driving is one of the top safety issues on Virginia roads,” said Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson. “The commonwealth is excited to help launch this campaign with our partners to communicate the dangers of taking our eyes off the road and encourage all drivers to take the pledge and drive distraction-free.”
“Our officers witness first-hand the consequences of distracted driving on Virginia roads and it is something we cannot tolerate,” said Captain Jim De Ford, Fairfax Division Commander, Virginia State Police. “For those few selfish seconds, a driver can put at risk not only his or her life, but the safety of others on the roadway. We want drivers to know that we will fully enforce the law if we find you engaging in this dangerous behavior.”
The Phone Down. Touchdown. Campaign, sponsored by Transurban, will deliver an anti-distracted driving message from Kirk Cousins to more than 1 million area young drivers, millennials and parents using online advertisement, social media promotion and local parenting bloggers to spread safe driving reminders that feature quarterback Kirk Cousins. Drivers are encouraged to visit PhonesDownTouchdown.com to take a safe-driving pledge and receive access to shareable graphic content featuring Cousins.
Spread the message for chance to win free travel on 495 and 95 Express Lanes
Drivers who share the Phone Down. Touchdown. graphic on social media with the hashtag #PhoneDownTouchdown will be entered to win a month of free travel on the Express Lanes. A new winner will be selected every week throughout December and January.
“Our goal with the Phone Down. Touchdown. campaign is to empower drivers to commit to traveling safely and encourage them to share that commitment with their friends and family,” said John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman. “As transportation safety advocates in the fight against distracted driving, we ask Virginia motorists to remember the importance of keeping full focus on the road ahead.”
About the Express Lanes
The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95 to provide drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia. Together the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for nearly 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways. For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com.
Transurban manages and develops urban toll road networks in the United States and Australia. We partner with governments to meet the long-term transportation needs of communities — developing sustainable, safe, innovative and efficient projects. Transurban operates the 495 and 95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia. For more information, please visit transurban.com.