Automakers show support for texting ban

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy must be quite happy. Here Safe Driver Act of 2011, a federal government bill looking to instate a nation-wide standard for banning handheld cell phones and texting while driving, has found itself two new important supporters, as aAutomakers Chrysler and Ford decided to publically endorse the measure.

Ford was the first to issue a statement backing ban on texting while driving, through its vice president of government affairs, Pete Lawson.

“Distracted driving is an important issue, and that’s why Ford became the first automaker to support proposed legislation banning handheld texting while driving in 2009 and why we are proud to support Rep. McCarthy’s legislation,” said Lawson.  ”Ford believes hands-free, voice-activated technology significantly reduces that risk by allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

Less than a week later, Chrysler, who was the first American automaker to include Bluetooth technology in their vehicle back in 2003, said promoting safe driving behaviors was one the company’s first priorities.

As per a statement released by the company, Chrysler has “a strong history of addressing distracted driving, and we are proactively designing our vehicles and educating our customers on the importance of staying focused on the road. This legislation addresses the fact that a driver’s primary responsibility is to be in control of their vehicle; texting while driving clearly interferes with that responsibility.”

The last American automaker, General Motors, has yet to position itself for or against the measure.

Source: Ford press release, July 12, 2011; Chrysler press release, July 15, 2011

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