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Distracted Driving Kills: Has a Track Record

Written by: VIJAY B. DIXIT, CHAIRMAN

Do you agree with the above title? I do. Distracted Driving has been killing for a real-long time, though under different names. Also, impact of that tragedy does not ever fade away, it remains permanently etched in the memories of those left behind.

To make my point I must tell you a story.

Something terrible happened to a young boy named Jeff, many years ago. A group of kids started to drink, got into a car and drove away. But the drunk driver could not go far and crashed into a car with Jeff’s grandparents in it. Jeff lost his grandfather in that crash. His grief did not disappear. After all these years he still carries it with him. We might have called it drunk driving then, impaired driving now, but I call it distracted driving.

Today Jeff is the CEO of a nationally recognized company with its headquarters in our own Minnesota. He could not do anything when his grandfather was killed. Today, he can. Jeff instituted a distraction-free and hands-free policy in his company and is leading the way for others to follow.

That young boy’s name is Jeff Fetters, the CEO of Federated Insurance Co.

I personally know Jeff and feel honored to be able to tell his story today. Federated is a partner in Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation’s quest for building communities of distraction-free drivers. Many among us have participated in or know about the signature #eyesUp campaign presented by Federated on KARE 11. Federated also endorsed the Hands-free Bill right from the beginning, and now is behind the Hands-free Law going into effect on August 1.

Thank you, Jeff. Thank you, Federated.

With just a few weeks until the Hands-Free law goes into effect, Minnesota Department of Public Safety has created a hands-free PSA for the community. Please visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/hands-free/Pages/campaign-creative.aspx to learn about the Hands-free Law.

It is true that laws succeed with an intelligently designed execution plan by the government. However, we in the community have a critical role to play as well in ensuring that the law gets good traction. Let us work at the grass roots to educate each other.

This year, Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation (www.shreyadixit.org) is proud to dedicate the 12th RAKSHA PROTECTION VIGIL & 5K for Distraction-Free Driving to the new Hands-free Law. The RAKSHA event will take place on Saturday August 10, 2019 at the Purgatory Creek Recreation Area, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

You will be able to personally meet with Minnesota Public Safety & State Patrol Leaders to get answers to your questions about the law.

8:30 AM Registration & Refreshments
9:00 AM 5K Run begin
9:05 AM Raksha Walk Begins
9:45 AM-10:30 AM Vigil, Awards & Pledge

To guarantee your ‘DISTRACTION-FREE FOR LIFE’ athletic shirt, please register online at www.shreyadixit.org by July 27, 2019. Call 612-759-3384 or 612-293-5837 for information.

As always, the foundation will honor your lost loved ones. Please bring a framed photo for the Memorial Wall.

More information about the law may be obtained from Minnesota Department of Safety (https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/hands-free).

Please write to me at vijay@shreyadixit.org. I will wait to hear from you.