Federal government steps up efforts to fight distracted driving

Federal officials have introduced their "Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving," putting pressure on all states to ban texting and hand-held phone use by drivers.Transportation Secretary

BROOKLYN - Federal officials have introduced their "Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving," putting pressure on all states to ban texting and hand-held phone use by drivers.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants all states to have distracted driving laws on the books. The plan also calls for states to introduce programs to educate new drivers about the dangers of talking and texting while driving. LaHood called the problem "a national epidemic," saying distracted drivers were responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in 2010.

Last summer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that hands out tougher penalties for talking and texting while driving.

Cuomo signs law making texting-while-driving ban a primary offense

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