Ban on Handheld Phone Use While Driving Gains Momentum

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Following Ford, one more U.S. automaker, Chrysler has decided to back a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and other mobile devices while operating a vehicle. Known as the Safe Drivers Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., the bill would require the federal government to push states to ban cell phone use without a hands-free headset or in-vehicle Bluetooth connection. Exceptions would be made for emergencies.

States that don’t comply, could lose up to a quarter of their federal transportation funding. Similar leverage has been used to get states in line for such things as raising their drinking ages to a uniform 21 and lowering speed limits to 55.

Chrysler, the most recent supporter, has joined the bandwagon because they say “legislation addresses the fact that a driver’s primary responsibility is to be in control of their vehicle” and that “texting while driving clearly interferes with that responsibility.”

The bill was introduced in June and it is uncertain at this time if it will have the momentum to pass. It is certain, however that in the future drivers will definitely see additional restrictions on cell phone use while driving.

Penske Automotive Group has always been concerned with distracted driving and been proactive in providing/ educating customers on car features to enhance safety and focus on the road. We will continue to monitor the progress of this act in Washington D.C. and make sure you have all the resources you need to continue driving safely with minimal distractions.

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