By Keith Laing - 10/17/11 01:35 PM EDT
"You can't drive safely when you have one of these up to your ear," he said, holding up his BlackBerry at the podium.
LaHood said the number of states that had implemented laws against distracted driving laws increased from between eight and 11 when he became he took over the Transportation Department under President Obama in 2009 to about 36 currently.
Elsewhere this week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will take a look at pipeline safety in the wake of the 2010 explosion in San Bruno, Calif.
The accident prompted an investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board, which found that both utility company Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and lax state and federal regulations were at fault for the accident, which killed eight people and injured almost 40 others.