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  (Source: intomobile.com)
Automakers would have to rethink the kind of electronic devices and the number of these devices used within a vehicle

The first guidelines for reducing distracted driving were proposed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday, where automakers would be challenged to cut the number of in-vehicle entertainment and information electronics.

"Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America's roadways -- that's why I've made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel," said LaHood. "These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the new guidelines, which are the very first of their kind. They aim to offer recommended criteria for the kind of electronic devices and the number of these devices used within a vehicle.

The proposed guidelines are currently in Phase l, which applies to light vehicles like cars, pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs. Phase l recommends guidelines that help automakers use electronics that are less likely to distract the driver with tasks that are not associated with the operation of the vehicle, and the use of electronics that won't require the driver's sight and touch for long periods of time.

The exact guidelines for Phase l include the following: reduce complexity and task length required by the device; limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration; limit device operation to one hand only; limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation, and limit unnecessary visual information in the driver's field of view.

The Phase l guidelines also recommend that certain in-vehicle features be disabled to the driver, except when the car is in park: visual-manual text messaging; visual-manual social media browsing; visual-manual Internet browsing; visual-manual 10-digit phone dialing; visual-manual navigation system destination entry by address, and the display of more than 30 characters of text to the driver that is unrelated to driving the vehicle.

NHTSA is already looking ahead to Phase ll and Phase lll guidelines, which will take an in-depth look at electronics that are distractions in vehicles, yet not part of the vehicles, like smartphones and tablets. Phase lll is expected to look into voice-activated controls.

LaHood is known for his support for ridding distracted driving, but said he isn't looking to ban electronics in vehicles entirely. Back in December 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) pushed for a ban on hands-free calls while driving in order to reduce distracted driving, and LaHood said he wouldn't back it.

Source: United States Department of Transportation



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Go Away
By ebakke on 2/17/2012 11:03:24 AM , Rating: -1
Every day there's another article (here or elsewhere) about how some federal agency is proposing new rules, and getting involved in my life even more than they already are. Wake up America! Your liberty is being taken in the name of "your safety" and you don't even care.

(For the record, I wholeheartedly support distracted driving legislation through my state)




RE: Go Away
By Arsynic on 2/17/2012 11:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
I would feel the same way if these were rules, but they are guidelines, suggestions if you will.

However, I don't think it takes government to bring up the obvious. Even my GPS warns me when I try to use it when the car's moving.


RE: Go Away
By Reclaimer77 on 2/17/2012 12:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would feel the same way if these were rules, but they are guidelines, suggestions if you will.


They all start as "suggestions".

This will lead to a law, or more likely several. The OP is right. Enough is enough. Let the automakers make the cars that the people want, equipped with what they want. And stop using silly safety arguments and accidents as an excuse to extend federal power.


RE: Go Away
By mherlund on 2/17/2012 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, I don't think it takes government to bring up the obvious. Even my GPS warns me when I try to use it when the car's moving.

You don't think it does that because some rule set by some government said it had to?


RE: Go Away
By ebakke on 2/19/2012 1:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would feel the same way if these were rules, but they are guidelines, suggestions if you will.
So you'd be mad if they were making rules but you're ok with paying for the salaries/benefits/retirement for a bunch of people to go around making suggestions that have no teeth?

No matter how you slice it, this still sucks. Either you're giving up freedom and letting the feds make more decisions for you, or you're just paying some people to do busy work.


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