A bill board that encourages people not to text while they drive is shown in the northside of Indianapolis, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

People need to get the message, LaHood says. (Michael Conroy/AP)

By Mark Memmott

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gets very animated when he talks about the dangers of trying to drive and send text messages at the same time.

In a conversation today with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, LaHood got passionate when he described how public awareness needs to build -- just as it did about the dangers of driving while intoxicated and the benefits of wearing seatbelts -- about the risks of driving-while-texting.

Here are two clips, one very short and one a bit longer:

LaHood and Steve were talking in advance of tomorrow's Transportation Department-sponsored conference on distracted driving. As we reported yesterday, the likelihood of more laws being passed to prohibit the use of cellphones while operating motor vehicles has safety advocates cheering -- but some of those in the trucking and other industries worried.

Much more from Steve's conversation with the secretary is due on tomorrow's ME. Click here to find an NPR station near you.

categories: National News

11:30 - September 29, 2009