In a series, "Driven to Distraction," The New York Times is examining the dangers of drivers using cellphones and other electronic devices as well as efforts to deal with the problems their use creates.
In brief, we're told that the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fearing the wrath of Congress, decided not to make public hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the use of cellphones by drivers. The New York Times is making the full body of the research available on its website thanks to efforts by two consumer advocacy groups that filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits in order to obtain the documents, the Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen. Drivers using a hand-held device were at 1.3 times greater risk of a crash or near crash, and at three times the risk when dialing compared with other drivers.


Initially the NHTSA intended to inform the states of the research, going so far as to draft a letter to the governor of each state, to be signed by Norman F.
According to the Times article, Congress had warned the agency about disseminating its research. These findings are nothing short of a tragedy, a deadly tragedy, and yet another example of the reprehensible politics all too often practiced by Congress. From local news to politics to entertainment and sports, the twice daily Right Now eNewsletter has all of the New Jersey news you need!


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