It's been revealed that U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for a federal law that would ban talking or texting on a cell phone while driving any vehicle on any road. LaHood called for the law yesterday while speaking at a distracted driving summit, describing the issue as a "national epidemic" and saying that he feels it's important that police are able to "write tickets when people are foolishly thinking they can drive safely or use a cell phone and text and drive." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3,000 fatal accidents were caused by distracted drivers last year, and that using a cell phone behind the wheel delays the driver's reaction time to an amount similar to that of having a blood alcohol percentage that meets the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Gary Biller, president of the National Motorists Association, opposed LaHood's call for the new law, saying that actions like talking or texting while driving are already covered by distracted driving laws that are currently in place. Instead, Biller argued, we should be investing in campaigns to discourage all kinds of distracted driving. LaHood says that he wants to focus specifically on cell phones because everyone has one and "too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving." What do you all make of LaHood's proposal? Do you think a federal law specifically aimed at banning talking and texting while driving is needed?