'Distracted Driving' Summit Called By LaHood

In a sign of how serious the administration is taking traffic safety, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood called for a special meeting to deal with 'distracted driving', primarily the technological type - cell phones, both hand-held and hands-free, and texting.

Get used to it - the new term is distracted driving" - as opposed to driving while talking on a phone, texting, etc. Just as the federal government played a role in past safety efforts, be it driving while drinking or seatbelt usage, Secretary LaHood sees the need for a similar effort to combat the epidemic of driving while distracted.

"The Transportation Department will convene a meeting of safety experts and others concerned about the dangers of text-messaging and cell phone use while driving, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said (August 4).

Regulation of the roadways generally happens at the state level. But the federal government has exerted pressure on the states based on the threat of withholding federal highway funds, as Congress did in 1984 to press states to raise their minimum drinking ages to 21 years."

From NYT: Cabbies Stay on Their Phones Despite Ban :
"New York City cabbies have been banned from using cellphones for a decade - even the hands-free type, putting the city a step ahead of state law. But the stringent rules remain almost entirely unenforced, even amid research that shows drivers who talk on cellphones are four times as likely to cause a crash."

Thanks to New York Times Daily Newsletter - Politics

Full Story: U.S. Agency Plans Meeting on Distracted Driving

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