Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
Scrambling technology could be installed in cars to help keep streets safe

Distracted drivers on the road are keeping one government official on his toes. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday to discuss the launch of the Faces Of Distracted Driving Campaign, a new transportation department web series that features videos of people injured by distracted drivers,  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talked about the idea of installing devices in vehicles that would restrict cell phone use while a car is turned on.

MSNBC hosts roped LaHood into the discussion about scrambling technology during the interview.  

Mika Brzezinski mentioned that an ad campaign won’t be enough to discourage distracted drivers and brought up the suggestion of a phone “slammer” that would scramble cell phone signals while a car is turned on.

“I think it will be done,” said LaHood. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.”

The Transportation Secretary has called distracted driving an “epidemic”.  

"These lives, and too many others like them, were cut short — not because of malice, but because of carelessness." 

On the "Faces Of Distracted Driving" campaign website, citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, LaHood pointed out that distracted driving killed nearly 5,500 people last year and injured 500,000 more.

In response to reports stemming from the MSNBC interview, LaHood wrote a blog post Thursday on the Department of Transportation website, emphasizing the importance of "personal responsibility" as it relates to drivers on the road.

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