LaHood 'On a Rampage' Against Distracted Driving

PO_LaHood

Distracted driving has got Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood “on a rampage,” he said Monday afternoon in an interview with Cars.com at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

When asked if the auto industry’s advances in ever-more-integrated tech/entertainment systems — a la Ford’s MyTouch — are getting to be more problematic, the secretary said that he's working with automakers to take the issue seriously.

While acknowledging that entertainment and information systems present a revenue opportunity for automakers, he cites three areas that he believes can “cure” the distracted driving problem:
1.    “We need to use public education to teach young drivers" to keep their eyes on the road and off of their phones or other distractions.

2.    Drivers need to understand their personal responsibility; “they owe that to other people” to stay engaged.

3.    “We also need some strong enforcement.”

His department is running test programs in New York and Connecticut with police there to enforce distracted-driving laws, giving driver citations for texting and using a handset while driving.

“With that information,” LaHood said, “we can go to other police departments around the country” and get them to step up their enforcement, as well.

“We’ll get to solving the problem,” he said.
In other topics:
  • LaHood said he would leave it to Congress to decide if there should be another round of Cash for Clunkers incentives. The “wildly successful” program was a lifeline to the industry, he said, noting that a Chevy dealer from South Carolina had thanked him earlier Monday because he had sold 250 cars under the plan.
  • He expects that Chrysler will survive until its new products arrive in U.S. showrooms, basing that assessment on his interaction with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne, he said, “is in it for the long haul because of his leadership, his vision. … I think Chrysler will be back.” Only one new Chrysler product will go on sale before the end of 2010.

Comments 

DonB

What does this mean: "... the secretary said that he's working with automakers to take the issue seriously."??
He should make drivers' licenses harder to get and harder to keep. Test and re-test people again and again. When they can't drive safely, stop them from driving. Period.

DonB, people don't bring their cell phone or DVD player in to be tested. While I do not disagree with you, you're comment seems more related to age related impaired driving or simply a lack of driving skill.

I've been on my soap box a while when it comes to impaired driving, and I am glad to see the Secretary taking it seriously. I think auto-makers can use this to continue to add to their revenue streams. Make EVERYTHING in the car useful without having to look at it. The only thing you should ever look at whilst behind the wheel of a moving vehicle is the view outside your auto glass.

Belly

The Transportation Secretary cannot make laws regarding driver's licenses, or motor vehicle infractions in general, that is for the states to do.

If you really want something to happen with this type of law you need to write your governor.

Gary Hutchison

The most ignored safety faction is night time headlights that cause glair from mis aimed, not proerly aligned, headlights. Headlight aiming should be required in evey state as part of their safety inspection. The AAA study showed that more than 50% of vehicles on the road have mis aimed headlights. What about that for a better safety issue?

New technology is available that is changing the way the problem of Distracted Driving will be handled from now on. PhoneBeagle Mobile Monitoring http://www.phonebeagle.com -- monitors cell phone activity and issues an alert when calls or texting happen while driving. About 500,000 people a year are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving, with at least 6,000 killed. Serious stuff. Simple solution, from PhoneBeagle

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