Unites States Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, is pushing for a complete ban against all cell phone usage while driving. Currently, only 30 states have restrictions against text messaging or talking on cell phones while behind the well, thanks in parts to his efforts. He believes that it doesn’t matter whether people are using a bluetooth system or a hand-held phone, either one is distracting. In this news article he stated, “I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving. We need a lot better research on other distractions, including Bluetooth enabled hands free calls and the in-car systems.”
Such a ban would have to be put into place by each individual state, though LaHood is trying to approach the ban from another angle. He hopes to limit the capabilities of technology available in cars such as Sync and OnStar. Opponents of this ban claim that cell phone usage is already too ingrained in our society and that it’s unrealistic to think that people will break that habit.
You can bet that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers isn’t a fan of such a ban. Spokesman Wade Newton claims, “Our feeling is it’s a matter of balancing what we know people are going to do anyway with what technology can help them do safer in a vehicle. We know that people are going to have conversations and look at maps and listen to music in a vehicle.” He cited similar technology is responsible for notifying emergency responders in the event of a car accident.
As a Columbia personal injury lawyer, I would like to see more effort into educating the public, particularly teen drivers, on the dangers of distracted driving. I don’t know that laws alone are the answer to getting people to pay more attention while driving.