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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: If you’re listening to this in your car right now and you’re texting, the Transportation secretary wants you to put that phone down. He’s going to be looking into the possibility of federal regulations to cut down on distracted driving at a summit next month. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.
JEREMY HOBSON: Texting while driving is so common — and has led to so many crashes — it’s now one of the first things police ask about when there’s an accident. At a news conference yesterday, you didn’t have to do much work to decode Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s message.
RAY LAHOOD: If it were up to me, I would ban drivers from texting immediately.
Washington usually leaves traffic laws up to states. But Congress is considering cutting off federal highway funding to states that don’t ban texting behind the wheel.
RAY LAHOOD: The majority of Americans want to make sure if they get in an automobile and they’re driving down the road, the other person who’s coming at them is not distracted.
Interestingly, the cell phone industry says it’s on board with legislative solutions to the problem. But the industry’s main trade group says a law isn’t enough. It says new and experienced drivers need to be educated about the dangers of taking their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road.
I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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