Ford supports Rep. McCarthy bill to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving nationwide

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"Research conducted in labs and on roads shows that activity drawing drivers' eyes away from the road — whether text messaging, manually dialing a cell phone, or reading maps — substantially increases the risk of an accident or near misses," Lawson continued. "Ford believes hands-free, voice-activated technology significantly reduces that risk by allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

The company supported a 2009 effort by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to tie a percentage of federal highway money to states adopting texting-while-driving bans.

LaHood recently touted the success of a pilot program that gave federal financial assistance to local police departments in Hartford, Conn., and Syracuse, N.Y., to increase enforcement of distracted driving laws.

—This post was clarified at 3:33 p.m.