‘High-risk drivers’ could be receiving messages from DC. Will it prevent crashes?

Do you have a previous traffic citation or other driving violation in the District? You might be getting a message tailored to you under a government initiative that’s trying to prevent future crashes.

The messages will include information about the driver’s vehicle and mention that the recipient is more likely to be involved in a crash than those without previous violations.

The program is part of a new effort through D.C’s Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate fatal and serious traffic deaths by 2024.

Research is currently being done by The Lab @ D.C. to come up with data on whether this messaging to “high-risk drivers” prevents crashes.

D.C. has been sending messages to a “randomly assigned” group of high-risk drivers.

“We will evaluate whether drivers who receive these messages have fewer red-light violations, speeding violations, and ultimately, crashes, compared to the group of high-risk drivers who do not receive the messages,” the Lab @ D.C. said on its website.

Next, if the data shows that there are less violations among the group that was sent the messages, D.C. will potentially send out the messaging to a larger list of high-risk drivers.

The program says to ensure privacy, names and other personal identifiers are removed from the data they’re working with and they are reporting information about groups of people and not individuals.

“Every life lost on our roadways is one too many,” Jeff Marootian, the director of the District’s Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, we continuously focus our efforts on advancing our Vision Zero goals and creating safer streets, especially in those corridors where fatalities are more frequent.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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