Transportation Secretary supports ban on texting while driving

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday threw his support behind a proposed nationwide ban on texting while driving. Though LaHood also said further study is needed to figure out how to enforce such a ban.

"If it were up to me, I would ban drivers from texting, but unfortunately, laws aren't always enough," he said. Last month, several senators introduced a bill that would force states to ban people from texting while driving or risk losing federal highway funds. The bill came shortly after a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more likely to be involved in or nearly get into an accident.

LaHood will hold a summit next month with transportation officials, lawmakers, safety advocates and others to discuss the hazards posed by cell phone use while driving. The action comes as Oregon and New Hampshire join 13 states and the District of Columbia in prohibiting texting while driving.

CTIA has said it supports the Senate measure, but that more driver education is needed as well. The Governors Highway Safety Association, a safety-advocacy group, has come out against the measure, however. "We think states can handle their own problems without federal mandates,"GSHA spokesman Jonathan Adkins told the Wall Street Journal.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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