White House looks to make roads safer

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Obama administration is pushing to make the roads across America safer. It's an effort that could prevent you from doing any number of things while driving.

Virginia has already taken a stand on distracted driving. On July 1 of this year it became illegal here in the commonwealth to text while driving -- something national leaders want to see happen in every state.

This effort is being pushed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who is ready to host a summit on distracted driving.

He said yesterday that drivers who text and drive are more dangerous that people who drink and drive.

Last week, authorities say a distracted tow truck driver injured two people in western New York while texting and chatting.

And a train crashed last year in California killing 25 people -- including the train operator, who was texting at the time.

The Obama administration and recent studies are focusing on drivers on the road.. A Virginia Tech transportation institute found people who were texting while driving were 23 times more likely to crash.

"If it were up to me, I would ban drivers from texting immediately," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  "We all know texting while driving is dangerous and I promise you we're going to do something about it."

LaHood says he will hold a summit with experts next month to determine what to do about cell phone use behind the wheel -- but it seems like his message is already pretty loud and clear.

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