Ford backs ban on cell phone use in vehicles

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) has introduced Safe Drivers Act of 2011, a plan that would ban all hand-held cell phone use while driving. Her website quotes her as saying, Driving while making a phone call, texting or using apps can be as dangerous as driving drunk, and much more common. With some basic commonsense rules that are already in place in some parts of the country, we can reduce injuries and save lives in America.

While Michigan has outlawed texting while driving, there are no current regulations against using hand-held cell phones to make phone calls while operating a vehicle.

Now, Detroit-based Ford Motors is the first of the Big Three to agree with the government that using hand-held cell phones can potentially be dangerous.

Ford TMs Vice President, Pete Lawson, told the Detroit Free Press that the law, "represents a practical, commonsense approach to a national problem" and that the company believed "drawing drivers' eyes away from the road -- whether (by) text messaging, manually dialing a cell phone or reading maps -- substantially increases the risk of an accident or near misses."

The USA Today reports that Ford could potentially utilize this ban to push the value of the Sync system- a hands-free system that allows drivers to make phone calls and use MP3 players by merely speaking it.

Verizon Wireless has also backed the law. Peter Davidson, Verizon senior vice president of federal government relations states, we applaud Rep. McCarthy for introducing the Safe Drivers Act of 2011. While mobile devices bring great benefits to Americans TM lives, they must be used responsibly while driving. We TMre pleased that Congresswoman McCarthy is championing this public safety measure, and we fully support her efforts to enact the Safe Drivers Act of 2011.

You can read the full Safe Drivers Act of 2011 by clicking here.

In the meantime, we want to know how you feel about banning cell phone use while driving. Leave us your comments.