Feeds

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Transportation boss: 'It will be done'

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.