November 3, 2010
NY Times Journalist and Pulitzer Prize Winner Matt Richtel Discusses Distracted Driving
Matt Richtel, the New York Times journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to the newspaper's “Driven to Distraction” series, was the keynote speaker at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy’s annual Raskin Lecture on October 25.
The annual symposium honors Daniel (Danny) J. Raskin, who was a human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. The symposium is endowed by the Raskin family as a tribute to Raskin’s life work. Prior to introducing the keynote speaker, Bruce Magladry, director of the Office of Highway Safety at NTSB and a friend of the late Daniel Raskin, shared memories of their time together as friends and colleagues.
Richtel spoke about his work on the series “Driven to Distraction,” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. He engaged the audience by speaking candidly about the individuals he got to know through his reporting, almost all of whom had been impacted by distracted driving.
Richtel also shared his thoughts on how researchers and journalists can work together to advance public health. According to the New York Times website, the series generated the biggest impact of anything the paper published in 2009. By the end of the year, state legislators had proposed more than 200 bills barring drivers from texting, phoning, or requiring hands-free headsets.