You’d better hold tight to your chair when you will read this: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists can be very distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving (and we include hands-free calls) and wants to ban them.
That’s right, his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban. LaHood’s campaign against texting and calling while driving already brought restrictions in 30 states.
Apparently, LaHood wants now to ban infotainment systems such as Fors’s Sync and GM’s OnStar. “I don't want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they're driving,” LaHood said in an interview this week.
“We need a lot better research on other distractions,” including Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calls and the in-car systems, he said. Even if LaHood will not succeed in banning them, this campaign will definitely limit the growth of vehicle features such as Sync and OnStar.
These systems were specially designed by manufacturers in order to attract younger buyers. Furthermore, this could also reduce calls made from vehicles, and together with this, the revenue of mobile-phone companies such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
LaHood, 64, said even hands-free phone conversations are a “cognitive distraction.” [via autonews - sub. required]