NM official targeting distracted driving

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's transportation agency head says not enough people are getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez says it's a serious, life-threatening practice whether drivers are texting, talking on the phone, eating, reading a map, changing the radio station or talking to passengers.

Talking on a cellphone while driving is illegal in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Espanola and Taos and is prohibited in all state vehicles.

Dominguez cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showing 20% of crashes with injuries in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.

More than 5400 people died in such crashes.

Dominguez says distracted driving is the next big issue for the state's traffic safety program.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com