Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told NPR yesterday what he told Bloomberg News earlier this month: don’t drive while using a cellphone – including hands-free and Bluetooth devices. He explained that the cognitive distraction of phone conversations causes crashes, regardless of whether the driver is holding the phone.
The Secretary said that officers issued 5,000 tickets during pilot enforcement programs in Hartford, CT, and Syracuse, NY, in a matter of days and “distracted driving dropped dramatically in both of those cities.”
In a discussion about why police officers are allowed to talk on their phones, a caller asked if LaHood supports training that would certify people to use their cellphones while driving. The Secretary’s response was simple: “Absolutely not. Driving and talking is dangerous, using a cellphone or a blackberry is dangerous while you are driving.” He later scolded a driver for calling-in while driving, suggesting that they take another caller, but at that point time was up and the interview was concluded.
League Policy Director
Flusche joined the League in April 2009 and has a B.A. in history from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy analysis from New York University.