LaHood Reaffirms Distracted Driving Commitment – How much ‘fudging’ will be involved?


In an analysis of 7,000 crashes released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2010 concluded that 30% involved some type of distraction but found that of 14 sources of distraction in a car, texting while driving was the only one that was NOT A FACTOR. That is interesting fact given by NHTSA, Ray LaHood must have missed that memo.

At an event marking the one-year anniversary of Focus-driven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for victims of distracted driving, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today reaffirmed his commitment to putting an end to the deadly epidemic of distracted driving.

Like we didn’t already know he was going to do this. When will Ray LaHood demand that people driving be confined to a space big enough for the driver only, and have a box built around them, so that they cannot be distracted by other occupants in the car? Or when will five point harnesses be required? Oh let’s not forget the HANS device that Nascar drivers use. Helmets and flame retardant suits are said to come later.

“Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic and when it comes to road safety, we will not take a backseat to anyone,” said Secretary LaHood. “That’s why distracted driving will continue to be a major part of DOT’s robust safety agenda. Together with advocates like FocusDriven and NETS, and employers like Safeway, we can put an end to this deadly behavior and save lives.”

The above can be translated in different ways. Firstly, could be that more “feel good” regulations would be added. Secondly, cars will be built like race cars, with the driver off to themselves sitting in an enclosed compartment. Thirdly, we will pay dearly to reconstruct ALL ROADS so that the cars can drive themselves. And finally they could be talking about another “cash for clunkers” failure they had before, but adding a mandatory call for ALL vehicles and then forcing everyone to buy a new computerized car that doesn’t speed and drives itself.

To show the devastating, real-life effect of distracted driving, the Department unveiled the latest in its “Faces of Distracted Driving” video series, which explores the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. Wait! Stop the presses! Let’s back-up to the beginning of this post, where NHTSA which is a government office under the direction of Secretary Lahood says: In an analysis of 7,000 crashes released by the NHTSA in 2010 concluded that 30% involved some type of distraction but found that of 14 sources of distraction in a car, texting while driving was the only one that was NOT A FACTOR.

If the NHTSA which is under the direction of Ray LaHood is saying that texting while driving is NOT A FACTOR related to these crashes – then why is he so focused on Texting and cell phone use while driving?

It’s all about money folks. The DOT and FMCSA have announced rules that prohibit professional drivers from texting while driving or face HUGE FINES like $2750.00 for drivers and $11,500.00 for companies.

Shannon Campagna, Vice President of Federal Government Relations for Safeway grocery stores, spoke about the policy that prohibits Safeway’s 1,525 truck drivers from talking or texting on cell phones, or from using hands-free devices while driving.

“The safety of our employees, customers and residents in the communities where we operate is and always has been of the utmost importance to Safeway,” said Campagna. “This policy not only helps keep our employees and customers safe, but we believe it is a good business practice as it ensures that our products arrive safely and on-time. Implementation of policies limiting use of phones and mobile devices by more private companies will help minimize distractions for drivers and keep Americans on the road safe and healthy.”

I wish these people would really speak the truth about why they put these policies in place to begin with. Obviously, they were not thinking about this a couple of years ago, now were they? The HUGE FINE and the number of drivers they have tell me why they have these policies in place.

Here is the full release of what Ray LaHood spoke about and the others that spoke also.

I think it is ironic though that the DOT and even Obama have implemented these distracted driving rules for federal employees, but still can’t even control them.

Not long after they put the rule into effect Shirley Sherrod received a career-ending cell phone call from her department while driving home from work. After several failed attempts to contact Ms. Sherrod, the caller, presumably Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack himself, finally reached her because he asked Georgia state troopers to issue an Amber Alert on electronic road signs asking her to call the office immediately! She was told to pull over to the curb and asked to resign or be fired before the six o’clock news cycle began.

I know for a fact that DOT workers here in Kentucky use their cell phones while driving. The same as the police, fire, and ambulance workers. I can understand the police, fire, and ambulance workers being exempted from these rules.

But why pick on THE SAFEST drivers on the highways? Answer is MONEY. How much ‘fudging‘ will be involved – this year?

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I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story. Twitter | |Truck Drivers News Facebook
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One Response to LaHood Reaffirms Distracted Driving Commitment – How much ‘fudging’ will be involved?

  1. Hands Free Me says:

    LaHood has campaigned against all forms of handheld communication device use while behind the wheel, not just texting. That covers a lot of ground. As someone who reports daily on distracted driving and its toll, I have read thousands of stories about people injured or killed by texting or cell-phoning drivers.

    While 7,000 crashes is statistically significant, it does not allow for poor or nonexistent reporting by police, CYA lying by text messegers or the fact that with fatalities, police often cannot say with certainty that texting (or cell phoning) was involved even though circumstantial evidence strongly indicates so. If a cop doesn’t witness the texting and the crash — or the texting driver doesn’t come clean — it is almost impossible to pin crashes on texting, so it typically isn’t entered as a cause on accident reports. Don’t get me started on the other widely cited study …

    As for making money off fines, the true costs of collecting them probably outweighs any financial benefit.

    I do agree, however, that the professional needs of truckers — usually superior drivers than teens and wheel holders — should be carefully considered in crafting legislation. I am seeing more exemptions in legislation than in years past.

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