The Feds would like manufacturers to disable in-dash web browsing, texting, tweeting, making phone calls and entering addresses to get directions, all while the car is moving. The regulators want to see such actions available to the driver only when the car is parked. Car salesmen fear that a customer backlash against the proposals will be directed at their business. Alex Shams, used car sales manager at Galpin Motors in North Hills, the world's largest Ford dealer, said, "There will be some upset customers, L.A. people are spoiled." On the other hand, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America's roadways." L.A. already has laws that ban drivers from texting or making calls when the car is in motion.
Additionally, the Feds are recommending guidelines that would limit the use of hand-held devices and voice-activated systems. The DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will hold hearings in March to gauge consumer and industry reaction to the voluntary guidelines. These rules have to be voluntary because the Safety Board cannot make or enforce rules. The Feds have been concerned with fatal accidents that are caused bvy the driver being distracted while using his hand-held cellphone. In 2010, 3.092 people, or 9.4% of road deaths, were killed as a result of an accident caused by driver distraction. Stats like that are why the NTSB in December called cellphone use in cars a public-health epidemic on the same level as smoking or drunken driving. The NTSB recommends the ban of all cellphone use by drivers, even those using hands-free systems.