Concerned that "gadgets and bells and whistles" are distracting drivers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is reportedly pushing to keep the technologies out of driver's hands – without going so far as to say he'll try to restrict them. LaHood, who has already campaigned for a ban on hand-held texting and cell phone use while operating a moving vehicle, says he is "going to talk to the car manufacturers and see where this leads."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 nearly 6,000 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver - and more than 800,000 vehicles are driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone each day. While the Department of Transportation intends to issue regulations in 2010 to discourage driving while distracted by technology, LaHood has gone several steps further by saying he is on a "rampage" against the behavior.

This is likely a good time to remind everyone that a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that bans on hand-held cell phones in California, Connecticut, New York, and Washington D.C., had no impact on vehicle accidents - LaHood attributes those results simply to complaisant enforcement by police agencies.

[Source: The Detroit News]