Feeds

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Transportation boss: 'It will be done'

The essential guide to IT transformation

The US government may require cars to include scrambling tech that would disable mobile-phone use by drivers, and perhaps passengers.

"I think it will be done," US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said on Wednesday morning, according to The Daily Caller. "I think the technology is there and I think you're going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones."

LaHood is on a self-described "rampage" against distracted driving, and if making it impossible to use a mobile phone while in a car can save lives, he's all for it — although, according to TDC, LaHood also emphasized the role of "personal responsibility."

In a Tuesday blog post announcing an online video series, "Faces of Distracted Driving", which presents first-person accounts of distracted-driving tragedies, LaHood noted that "Just last year, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 500,000 more were injured in distracted driving-related crashes.

"These lives, and too many others like them, were cut short — not because of malice, but because of carelessness," he added.

The problem is that the average driver doesn't think that he or she is an average driver: nearly two-thirds of drivers think of themselves as safer and more skillful than a driver of median safety or skills — a statistical impossibility, of course.

When faced with the prospect of automotive mobile phones being disabled, we'd be willing to bet that most drivers, suffused with confidence in their own skills, will think in terms of personal inconvenience and a restriction on personal freedom.

Perhaps it might be better to think of the guy texting in the lane to your left, or the gal yelling at her ex on her iPhone in the lane to your right, and think not of your own inconvenience, but of some distracted dolt killing you.

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

LaHood may be right. Disabling mobile phones in cars should not be looked at as a way of protecting you from yourself, but instead as a way of protecting you from the stupid. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?