The present invention provides a safety control system for a vehicle with controls located on the vehicle steering wheel. The controls may be arranged in a cluster on one or both sides of the upper half of the steering wheel or on a special flange mounted to the steering wheel. The contours are easily recognizable and accessible while driving without any distraction to the driver. The controls can be enhanced by varied coloring, shape, size, and texture to make them easily identifiable. The controls can be used with portable telematics devices, in a multi-modal process in conjunction with thumb gesture interpretation or speech recognition. A universal portable device docking station may be used in conjunction with the control system.