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Judging from the statistics that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently released, distracted driving is a big problem here in the States. Researchers have found that one of the largest sources of distraction behind the wheel comes from hand-held devices – cell phones, smart phones, media players and the like. According to The Detroit News, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has mentioned that he would like to see some sort of visual warning on cell phones alert

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has released his department's findings on the impact of distracted driving on highway safety in 2009, and according to research conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 5,474 people died due to distracted driving last year, with another 448,000 people injured. Those are big numbers, and NHTSA says the number of people killed due to distracted driving marks a total of 16 percent of all traffic fatalities last year. In 2005, the de

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Akio Toyoda, still working the shovel to extricate Toyota from the hole it's dug, invited U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a factory visit. When he returned, LaHood said that the Toyota CEO didn't realize how much damage the company's reputation was taking until Toyoda actually came to America and saw for himself.

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Japan Transport Minister Seiji Maehara stopped by Washington D.C. late last week to discuss several issues with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, including Toyota and the future of high speed rail here in the States. The Detroit News reports that Maehara admitted the Japanese automaker made some mistakes in handling its recall issues, adding "Toyota has on its own recognized that it had been slow." Maehara and LaHood further agreed that the Toyota situation shouldn't disrupt the relation

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Just yesterday, we told you that Toyota was reportedly set to pay the full $16.4 million fine to the U.S. government, so long as the automaker would not be required to admit any wrongdoing. Well, the 'T's have been crossed, the 'I's have been dotted, and the official statements have been released. The largest civil fine ever issued to an automaker by the U.S. government will be paid by way of electronic funds transfer, and will take place within the next 30 days. For what it's worth, The Detroit

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According to a report by Automotive News, Toyota is ready to pay the $16.4 million fine levied against the company by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... on one condition: the company wouldn't be required to admit wrongdoing. If the NHTSA goes for that, apparently it can stuff its coffers; if not, the report suggests there's a chance Toyota could appeal the fine on the day it's due, Monday, April 19.

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Automotive News reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could hit Toyota with another fine on top of the $16.4 million levied last week. As for that most recent fine, turns out that it could have been as much as $13.8 billion, based on Toyota having to pay a fine on each of the 2.3 million cars recalled. A statute, however, limits the amount to the one imposed.

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The NHTSA is combatting distracted driving – Click above to watch the video

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After much deliberation, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has decided to issue a $16.4 million penalty to Toyota – the maximum fine allowed – for failing to recall vehicles due to faulty accelerator pedals in a timely fashion. This will be the largest fine ever issued to an automaker by the government.

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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."

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration appears to be busier than ever. Beyond the federal agency's upcoming visit to Congress to explain its actions leading up to the Toyota recalls, it also needs to prepare for 2011 changes to its New Car Assessment Program Five-Star Safety Rating System.

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$16.4 million. That's the maximum amount the Department of Transportation (DOT) can fine an automaker for failing to recall a defective vehicle in a timely manner. And according to a recent report, the Feds could be pursuing a multimillion-dollar fine – the sum, yet to be disclosed – due to the Toyota recall.

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Appearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee on transportation this morning, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that Toyota owners should "stop driving" their recalled vehicles until they're fixed.

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Reports from multiple news outlets cite sources within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who claim the government is now looking into electrical problems as the source for Toyota's recall troubles. The unnamed agency employee reportedly told CNN that the government is investigating whether electromagnetic interference might cause the electronic throttle control system to malfunction. The source went on to add that the agency has found no evidence of problems with the electronic

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Man, when it rains, it absolutely pours. Especially if you're a carmaker called Toyota and are already embroiled in a credibility-killing (and sales-smothering) gas pedal recall plus another for defective floor mats. According to the Detroit Free Press, none other than U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has absolutely blasted the Japanese giant, calling it "a little safety deaf" and noting he was upset that NHTSA officials had to fly to Japan "to remind Toyota management about its legal ob

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Cash-for-Clunkers was among the more watched auto-related story lines of 2009. With the industry hurting, the government provided cash vouchers of between $3,500 and $4,500 to anyone who turned in a vehicle that was eight (or more) years-old and with between two and 10 miles-per-gallon worse fuel economy numbers than the new car or truck with which it was replaced. The program went from fledgling idea to a done deal in a matter of a few months, showing that the U.S. government is capable of move

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In well-planned residential areas, public transportation and places people want to go are located in the same place. Tokyo's Yamanote Line (山手線, pictured) is one of the best examples of this. Not only is each station placed near businesses and locations of interest, most stations along the circular track in the center of the city also connect with other public transportation options. A more thoughtful use of transportation resources could be coming to the United State thanks to a policy shift by

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Cash-for-Clunkers was among the more watched auto-related story lines of 2009. With the industry hurting, the government provided cash vouchers of between $3,500 and $4,500 to anyone who turned in a vehicle that was eight (or more) years-old and with between two and 10 miles-per-gallon worse fuel economy numbers than the new car or truck with which it was replaced. The program went from fledgling idea to a done deal in a matter of a few months, showing that the U.S. government is capable of move

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The 2010 Detroit Auto Show kicked off this morning with a positive little speech by United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Speaking about the coming electrification of the automobile, he said that "this is what the American people want." When asked how much money the government would pay over the next decade for a plug-in vehicle infrastructure, all he would say is that the costs would be shared between industry and government.

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The 2010 Detroit Auto Show kicked off this morning with a positive little speech by United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Speaking about the coming electrification of the automobile, he said that "this is what the American people want." When asked how much money the government would pay over the next decade for a plug-in vehicle infrastructure, all he would say is that the costs would be shared between industry and government.

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