With an estimated 5,500 people dieing, and about half a million people injured from using a mobile phone whilst driving last year, the Department of Transportation are considering bringing in a technology that disables the use of cell phones whilst you are inside an automobile.
It is no secret that the majority of us have used a mobile phone in our car whilst on the move. This is exactly the practice that the the U.S. Department of Transportation are trying to discourage us from doing. In addition to releasing a video campaign, the “Faces of Distracted Driving,” they are also looking into a technology that would disable mobile phones whilst in a car.
During MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Raymond LaHood said that “There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that.”
The the Secretary of Transportation also said that “you have to have good laws, you have to have good enforcement, and you have to have people take personal responsibility. That’s the bottom line,” which undoubtedly it is.
The video campaign we mentioned earlier is a series of online videos that tells the stories of several victims of distracted driving, and a new video is intended to be released every few weeks.
Cell phone jammers are illegal. However, there are alternatives which would disable the phone once the car reached a certain speed. This would be detected via Bluetooth or other radio device that could sense the speed at which you were travelling and shut down the cell phone for that select period of time.
Although I can see sense in the technology, you are faced with two potential problems. One is that the service is ultimately voluntary. The lock can be turned off prior or during, so yet again, it is down to educating these people. The second would be that drivers would constantly stay at low speeds while texting, phoning, which in turn would also cause more accidents and ruin the driving flow.
The only solution as far as I’m concerned is to educate drivers on the dangers of using a cell phone whilst driving, much like we are educated against drink driving. Both are wrong, both severally hinder our chances on the roads, but the only difference is that “text driving” is not considered as a crime, but drink driving is.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think technology to block cell phones is the right direction to take? Or do you prefer the method that aims to educate drives, and dissuade them from “text driving?”
Source: Discovery News