More Crashes Involving Cell Phones

A recent article in the Bloomberg News revealed that at least 28 percent of all United States traffic crashes are caused by drivers using handheld communication devices, such as cell phones. About 1.6 million crashes a year in the United States are caused by drivers using a cell phone or texting while driving. Janet Froetscher, Chief Executive Officer of the National Safety Council, said at a recent press conference that the numbers are rising. Her group now is calling for a ban on all mobile phone use and texting while driving. This ban has the support of Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation. However, Secretary LaHood said that it would be up to Congress whether to require such a ban. Secretary LaHood was quoted as saying his office is on a rampage about this. He said that curbing distracted drivers is his No. 1 priority. LaHood recently toured the North American International Auto Show. After doing so he criticized automakers for adding technologies to cars that can distract drivers. Mr. LaHood was quoted as saying, “Any distraction that takes two hands off the wheel and eyes off the windshield should not be allowed.” He made this statement after learning of Ford Motor Company’s plans to bring social network and web browsing tools into its vehicles by 2015. As of this writing both the State of Washington and the State of Oregon prohibit handheld communication devices while driving. In Oregon if an officer sees you using a handheld communication device you can be pulled over and given a ticket. In Washington, the officer needs another reason to pull you over, but once he has done so you can be ticketed for both offenses.

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