Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Breakfast Show and said, “There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that. That’s one way. But 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.”
LaHood went on to say that texting or talking on the phone while driving has claimed nearly 5,500 lives in the last year and that nearly 500,000 people have been injured.
To raise awareness, the DOT has launched a new online campaign called “Faces of Distracted Driving” in which victims speak out about how their lives have changed by making such a simple mistake.
Currently there is no federal law prohibiting people from using cell phones while driving, although some states do have anti-texting laws, while some states only allow handsfree phone usage.
The DOT is looking at software solutions which will detect when the phone is being used while driving, although there are still plenty of glitches to work out, after all a passenger could be using a cell phone so how will the phone know? Since this restricting technology is not mandated by the Government, it will boil down to individuals who want to have the technology for their own benefit, or companies can install such devices in their fleet vehicles.
Paul Atchley, a scientist at the University of Kansas believes these tech features won’t be enough and many people will be able to work around the issue. He believes the only thing that can work is to change people’s attitude.
Do the sensible thing, don’t text or talk while driving, and everybody wins.