The U.S. House of Representatives designated April National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Locally, Jaffarian Volvo Toyota in Haverhill is running a campaign called Take the Pledge to raise awareness of the problem of unfocused driving.
During April, Jaffarian is donating $1, up to a $5,000 maximum, for every person who visits the dealership’s Facebook page and pledges to avoid distracted driving, especially by avoiding texting or speaking on a cell phone while driving. The charitable contribution will go to Focus Driven, a national advocacy group that promotes cell-phone-free driving.
“As a dealership, we are committed to increasing awareness of the real risks of driving distracted,” said Gary Jaffarian, owner of the auto dealer and a speaker at area driving schools about the dangers of distracted driving.
“We commend Jaffarian Automotive Group for being one of the first car dealerships in the nation to step forward with their pledge to help raise awareness about this sweeping epidemic that is taking 11 lives every day due to a distracted driver,” said Shelley Forney, a founding member of Focus Driven.
Gas prices turn higher
Regional and national gasoline prices stepped higher last week, according to tracking by the auto club AAA.
For Massachusetts and New Hampshire, last week’s upward turn was a reversal from the previous week, when pump prices had eased slightly. But last week’s increase in the overall national average marked eight consecutive weeks in which AAA’s 50-state average rose.
In Massachusetts, the average price for self-service regular gasoline settled at 3.580 on Wednesday, a 2.6-cent increase from the prior Wednesday’s $3.554, the auto club reported. Wednesday’s Bay State average was also higher than the figure reached on the same day last year, when AAA put the Massachusetts state-wide average at $3.534, or 4.6 cents below Wednesday’s level.