PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. will launch the Protect Your Privilege campaign, a county-wide effort to discourage distracted driving. DA Zappala will hold an assembly with high school students to kick off Destructive Decisions Week at  Central Catholic High School in the McGonigle Theater on April 29 at 1:40 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2022, distracted driving accounted for 8% of all fatal crashes in the United States, and killed approximately 3,300 people. Cell phone usage while driving caused 12% of fatal distracted car accidents. Drivers aged 15-24 made up nearly a quarter of those involved in fatal cell phone-related crashes. 

A representative from the Pennsylvania State Police will also be in attendance to talk to students about their efforts to enforce the laws of distracted driving. 

“Protect Your Privilege is an all-year-round initiative that is meant to reach all drivers,” said DA Zappala. “We wanted to start with students so they are prepared for these dangers to stop the problem before it starts. The timing is also right since schools are preparing for prom season in the coming weeks.” 

“Central Catholic High School is honored to welcome alumnus District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. ‘75, back to campus to launch the Protect Your Privilege campaign, to raise awareness across the region about the dangers of distracted driving.  DA Zappala’s visit to Central Catholic is timely as the school kicks off its Destructive Decisions Week,” said Central Catholic President Matthew J. Stoessel, ’95. “DA Zappala’s decision to begin with students in the region is very much appreciated. I am hopeful that this program will have the desired impact with both the less experienced drivers and those with more years behind the wheel.  It is a critical program for our region that I appreciate for our students in my role as President of Central Catholic but also as a father of three teenagers.”