Virginia DOT.

DOT launches first of its kind Safe Phone Zone Sponsorship with GEICO.

Public-Private Partnership.

Virginia DOT's Safe Phone Zones are located at Rest Areas and Welcome Centers across the state. Virginia DOT chose to utilize its Rest Areas and Welcome Centers as Safe Phone Zones to curb distracted driving because of their already proven ability to prevent accidents and save lives. According to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the absence of Rest Areas increases shoulder related accidents due to parked vehicles on the side of the road by 52% and motorists’ use of Rest Areas reduced accidents by 3.7%.

The Announcement.

On August 30, 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell announced the first in the nation Rest Area Safe Phone Zone Sponsorship program that designated 43 Virginia welcome centers and rest stops as safe areas to use cell phones. Working with VDOT, GEICO sponsored the new program that reminds drivers to stop, pull over and safely call, text and otherwise use their cell devices in a safe environment. In Virginia, it is illegal for all novice drivers to use their cell phone (handheld and hands-free) while driving. There is also a ban on texting for all drivers.

The State's Commitment.

“Safety is one of our top priorities at VDOT. Our sponsorship program with GEICO supports the Safety Rest Area program while simultaneously offering motorists a friendly reminder to use our convenient facilities for a safety break.”

– VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley

The Sponsor's Commitment.

"As we all know, distracted driving is a major problem," said Joe Thomas, GEICO's regional vice president. "GEICO is committed to combating distracted driving and we are proud to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation on this issue. We all want to let drivers know about the Safe Phone Zones in Virginia, where people can take a break from driving at the state's welcome centers and rest areas, and make phone calls and answer texts in a comfortable, convenient and safe environment."