Driven to Distraction – In 2003, U.S. Withheld Data Showing Cellphone Driving Risks – Series – NYTimes.com
July 21, 2009 1 Comment
In 2003, researchers at a federal agency proposed a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel. They sought the study based on evidence that such multitasking was a serious and growing threat on America’s roadways.
This makes no sense, withholding data that supported an already well-known (and one might add, fairly obvious) finding. This is evidenced by the literature reviewed in the first few pages of the Official Documents
The former head of the highway safety agency said he was urged to withhold the research to avoid antagonizing members of Congress who had warned the agency to stick to its mission of gathering safety data but not to lobby states.
Urged by whom? Since when did publishing a report constitute lobbying?
All the more reason the Executive Branch should not conduct science, which should be left to independent organizations (like universities).