08 June 2011

When They Say Jump…

As more automakers move towards adding social media in cars, Transportation secretary Ray LaHood, has a word of advice: Stop.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, LaHood said he is lobbying automakers not to add features that could distract drivers. “There’s absolutely no reason for any person to download their Facebook into the car,” LaHood said in the interview, showing a shaky command of social media terminology. “It’s not necessary.”
LaHood’s opinion on the matter is significant: He and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reports to him, can force automakers to stop adding social media feeds to new cars. He is also pushing for them to create public service campaigns against texting and driving. So far, two automakers — Subaru and BMW — have done so. BMW’s campaign, showing an overprotective mom who nevertheless endangers her kids by texting and driving, went live on June 3.

Whether this sort of interference is warranted or not aside, one thing is certain when it comes to the government:  today’s recommendation eventually becomes tomorrow’s regulation.

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