Ford Supports Ban On Texting While Driving - InformationWeek
11:18 AM
IP Intelligence: The Utility Player for Your Online Business
Aug 31, 2017
Join us as we explore the many benefits of IP Intelligence, and how you can use IPI to improve you ...Read More>>

Ford Supports Ban On Texting While Driving

The automaker joins Verizon Wireless in supporting federal legislation banning drivers from text messaging.

Legislation proposing a nationwide ban on handheld texting while driving has received a boost from the Ford Motor Company. In supporting the legislation introduced by Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, both of New York, Ford becomes the first major auto maker to publicly favor such a ban.

As the dangers of texting while driving become more evident with mounting incidents of accidents, states are increasingly moving to ban the practice. To date, 17 states have moved to ban texting while driving. The proposed federal legislation calls for 25% cuts in federal highway financing for states that decline to go along with a texting ban.

Senator Schumer hailed the automaker's support. "Ford deserves credit for stepping up as the first car company to endorse a ban on this dangerous habit," said Schumer in a statement. "We are gathering a critical mass of support for this bill, which will give us the momentum we need to get it passed."

In addition to a rash of accidents -- some involving fatalities -- momentum for a ban was fueled earlier this summer by a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study, which found the greatest crash risk occurs when drivers are texting on a keypad. The risk, according to the study, jumps by 23 times when a texting driver is compared with a driver who isn't texting.

Verizon Wireless also supports a federal ban. "We support federal legislation to ban texting and e-mailing while driving," said Steven Zipperstein, Verizon Wireless VP, in a July statement. Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile stopped short of endorsing the proposed legislation.

On Thursday, Ford also spoke in favor of "hands-free, voice-activated technology (that) substantially reduces that risk by allowing drivers o keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road," in a statement by Susan Cischke, the firm's group VP for sustainability, environment and safety engineering.

Ford's stance could also be viewed as an endorsement of its in-car Sync system, which reads text messages and operates cell phones with simple voice commands. Cischke said the proposed legislation "would encourage a more rapid transition to hands-free and voice activated technologies," according to media reports.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on strategic security. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll