Wednesday

Ford wants handheld cell phones in cars banned, do you?

Cartoon from http://whatisacellphonejammer.com/cell-phone-jammer-car
Ford Motor Company is the first manufacturer to say they approve of banning handheld cell phones in cars on American roads. That idea is in a bill now before Congress, which could end up being law, according to TheDetroitBureau news reports.

There's a new study out from the Governors Highway Safety Association (didn't know there even was such an outfit) that says in 80% of car crashes "the driver had turned away from the road at the time of impact." Well, of course - that's what you usually do when you see an impact about to happen. Of more validity may be the finding that drivers are four times more likely to wreck while using a handheld phone than drivers who don't talk while driving at all. Focus, folks, focus.

Meanwhile, Congress is planning hearings to determine if there ought to be a federal law that makes using a handheld phone illegal if you are driving. NY Congressperson Carolyn McCarthy has a proposal up that would ban it in all 50 states. Ford backs the idea, according to a Ford VP, Pete Lawson.

Not by coincidence, Ford is also in the "beta" test phase of an in-car system like the GM OnStar system that has been around for years and which other manufacturers are now launching too. Of course, they charge for that, so there is the obvious incentive to them to get a federal ban in place so consumers might be more encouraged to subscribe to their in-car service.

Some states already have a ban in effect but so far no one is talking about whether those help, or hurt, the crash statistics.

Of course, all of this assumes your car is running right anyway.