According to this article in The Verge, two WVU researchers have concluded that legislation is not stopping people from using their mobile phones in cars and the only possible solution would be for the government to mandate technology be installed which would disable the phones of drivers from operating while the car was in motion.
From the article:
In a survey, Coben and Zhu found that 40 percent of drivers continue to use their cellphones while driving, with 15 percent admitting to texting from behind the wheel. Given that these figures were self-reported, Coben’s results likely underestimate the true prevalence of distracted driving.
That cellphones increase risks to driver safety is a widely accepted truth; according to Coben, talking while driving increases that risk by a factor of six, while texting increases it by a factor of 23. The question, though, is whether legal bans are strong enough to mitigate this risk.
“To this point, we have focused primarily on education and legislation, and we haven’t focused enough on engineering and technology to reduce the use of handheld devices,” he continued.
In Coben’s view, in-car texting should be treated in the same way that airbags or antilock brakes address other safety hazards — that is, through built-in technologies. Coben and Zhu acknowledge that hands-free technologies could provide a viable middle ground between safety and convenience, but until these devices are proven safe, they think the US government should mandate technology that would automatically disable cellphones whenever a car is in motion.
Ignoring the entire fact that people are driving while texting and that causes accidents, should the government utilize technologies which ban the use of mobile phones while cars are in motion? Should we be concerned with such trivial things such as passengers riding in the car being able to use those technologies, especially for things like mobile Internet for tablet devices, work, etc? How about the mobile phone being disabled for emergencies such as running away from an abusive spouse who is following you in their car?
Whatever you have to say about this go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.