TLP: If u cn rd this, i must b drvng
What's this? Texting is not the only distraction drivers face behind the wheel? That appears to be the message coming out of an effort to blunt the bad PR associated with asshats who can't do two, or five, things at once.
A major electronics industry trade group and a Washington lobbying firm have been pushing separate efforts to reframe the debate over the dangers of distracted driving, in response to moves by state legislators and regulators to restrict motorists’ use of cellphones and other devices.So far, it's a pretty small group and you have to admit that it's a tough sell. The coalition, if it ever gets enough members to become one, is planning to launch the effort in the fall. Just that much more time for the statistics to be updated.
The efforts have angered public safety advocates, some legislators and the secretary of transportation, who say such restrictions would save lives.
A document that has been circulating over the last week from a Washington lobbying firm, the Seward Square Group, has fueled the tension. The document, a copy of which was posted by the Web site FairWarning, says the distracted driving issue has been “hijacked” by national transportation authorities and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, who has encouraged motorists to pledge to put down their devices.
The document says that the auto and technology industries have become “collateral damage” in the debate. It urges the creation of a coalition called Drive, composed of car and device makers and wireless companies, but also safety advocates and emergency services personnel.