Fed Loosening up on Driver Distraction:WSJ

The Fed is changing its tune on calling for a full ban on cellphone use in the car, and the movement to legislate against “connected cars” appears to be fading, reported the Wall Street Journal Friday.

BuickLobbyists for the auto makers say the administration is indicating it’s changing its view on limiting car technology. Also transportation Sec. Ray LaHood recently elected not to hold a 3rd annual Distracted Driving Summit this year, “and signaled he won’t challenge auto makers that are integrating cellphones into their dashboard marvels,” said the WSJ.

Meanwhile, NHTSA, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, is studying driver distraction and plans to release a report late in the year. It will look at the differences in hands free phone use, semi-hands free use and handheld use of smartphones.

The Transportation department will also release in a few weeks new guidelines for auto makers on driver safety, but these are expected to generally follow what car companies are already offering.

Technology remains a key selling point for auto makers who are trying especially to woo young people into the car market.

Source: Wall Street Journal (subscription required to view full article)

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