In the battle against distracted driving, NHTSA is looking for the authority to regulate the use of smartphone apps while behind the wheel.
The new measure is being included in the Obama administration’s proposed transportation bill and would give NHTSA the authority to set restrictions on apps and order changes if they are deemed dangerous. The problem centers around drivers using navigation apps while driving, which is different than texting and driving. Most recently, an appeals court reversed a ticket that Steven R. Spriggs received in the state of California for using a navigation app on his iPhone while driving in stop-and-go traffic.
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The Transportation Department is looking for more leverage in negotiations over electronic distractions but has no immediate plan to start issuing new rules just yet. Currently the measure has the support of automakers, which already comply with voluntary guidelines for built-in navigation systems. Technology companies on the other hand believe that such a law would be impractical and impossible to enforce.
[Source: The New York Times]