Sending a (literal) message to drivers who break traffic laws

It’s often the case that the drivers who are most likely to cause an accident are those who have a history of disregarding traffic rules and laws. After a major car wreck, for instance, you wouldn’t be surprised to look at the at-fault driver’s record and find numerous citations for speeding, aggressive driving, running red lights and other infractions.

While there is not always a causal connection between numerous driving citations and later accidents, some believe that accident rates could be reduced by reaching out to drivers with a full rap sheet and encouraging them to change their behavior. That’s the focus of a recent safety campaign that will soon be taking place in our nation’s capital.

Traffic officials in Washington, D.C. are piloting a program to send individually tailored text messages and letters to drivers who have a history of traffic violations. There are no additional penalties associated with the messages. Instead, they seemingly remind drivers of their infraction history and encourage them to drive more safely in order to avoid causing an accident.

Success not guaranteed, but worth a try

There’s no way to tell yet whether this campaign will be successful because it has never previously been tried in the United States. But the costs of researching drivers and sending these targeted messages seem quite low. There’s almost nothing to lose by taking this new approach to public safety. If it proves to be successful, it could soon be tried in other cities, including here in Pittsburgh and other parts of Pennsylvania.

Traffic records as legal evidence

If a negligent driver has seriously injured you, the specific facts surrounding the crash will be important. But the other driver’s infraction record may also provide useful supporting evidence that he or she has a history of speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving or running red lights. When pursuing compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, such evidence could possibly bolster your case and impact the size of your settlement or jury award.