Lawmakers Propose Ban on Texting While Driving: It’s A Tech Problem
Since 2005, texting has grown eleven-fold – from 10 billion to 110 billion text messages sent per month in December of 2008, according to CTIA – the cellular phone industry’s trade group. As such, an increase in overall use of text messaging would naturally lead to an increase of doing so in the car. A recent study from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that when drivers of heavy trucks texted, their collision risk increased by 23 times. Dialing a cell phone and using or reaching for anincreased risk of collision about six times in cars and trucks. The said the risks of texting generally applied to all drivers, not just truckers. A separate study by Car and Driver magazine found that texting and driving is more dangerous than drunken driving.
To date, 14 states as well as the District of Colombia have passed laws banning text messaging while conducting a vehicle. States that don’t implement the proposed laws would face highway funding cuts of around 25 percent. The legislation would be patterned after the way Congress required states to adopt a national drunken driving ban. However, some don’t think that the proposed laws would be effective enough.
, a former Oklahoma congressman who leads CTIA — The Wireless Association, said his organization supports “state legislative remedies to solve this issue. But simply passing a law will not change behavior. We also need to educate new and experienced drivers on the dangers of taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.” The Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents agencies, said it does not doubt the dangers of texting and driving but does not support a ban because it would be difficult to enforce: “Highway safety laws are only effective if they can be enforced and if the public believes they will be ticketed for not complying. To date, that has not been the case with many cell phone restrictions,” said Vernon Betkey, the highway safety association’s chairman.
This all looks to be a problem that should be solved by superior technology rather than increased lawmaking. The market should drive the tech industry to develop and improve in-car speech recognition and synthesis systems that would read incoming text messages or emails, and allow the driver to dictate a response to a message – all without having to look at the cellular device. Microsoft’s SYNC system (TNR coverage) is the most advanced in the marketplace in having both features, although it still needs to be improved in the areas of accuracy. Only available in Ford products (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury), the system also needs to become more widely available.
(via Yahoo! News)
Posted in Automotive, Celluar, Common Sense, Legislation, Microsoft, Safety, Sync