updated 1/12/2010 10:52:47 AM ET 2010-01-12T15:52:47

The Transportation Department and safety advocates joined Tuesday to announce the creation of FocusDriven, a new campaign designed to teach people about the dangers of driving while talking on cell phones or texting on handheld computers.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, appearing on CBS' "The Early Show," described FocusDriven as "an army of people that will be traveling the country persuading people to put their cell phones away while they're driving."

The organization is being established with the support of the Transportation Department and the independent, nonprofit National Safety Council. It will be led by Jennifer Smith, whose mother was killed in 2008 by a driver who was talking on his cell phone.

FocusDriven is modeled on Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which taught motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving.

"Just as groups like MADD changed attitudes about drunk driving, I believe FocusDriven can help raise awareness and change the way people think about distracted driving," LaHood said in a press release. "Together, I hope we can put an end to this dangerous practice."

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