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Bans are not working in many instances proving you can't fix stupid

Governments at both the state and federal level are working to find some way to reduce distracted driving in the United States. Automakers and mobile phone makers are also joining in the fray to help reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers being distracted while texting, e-mailing, and talking on the phone while driving.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey last week that shows how problematic distracted driving is. The survey shows that distracted driving is especially pronounced among younger drivers with 58% of high school seniors admitting to having texted or e-mailed while driving the previous month. According to the survey, 43% of high school juniors acknowledged having texted or e-mailed while driving. Those numbers are despite the fact that 39 states ban texting and driving for all age groups and five more states ban texting and driving for teen drivers.
 
The fact of the matter is there is no absolute cure for distracted driving despite technology. Many apps that promise to eliminate the ability to text or make calls while driving have limitations that make them unusable in some circumstances. One circumstance is that these applications can't tell if the user is a passenger or driver in the car. Since the app can't differentiate between a passenger in the driver, they're easy to override if the driver decides to text or make phone calls.
 
A potential solution for this problem are similar products offered by companies called ZoomSafer and CellControl. These companies offer apps that put the driver's phone into driving mode blocking texting and e-mail using a device that plugs into the engine diagnostic port or listens for a while the signal from the cars integrated electronic system. The systems are able to differentiate between a person driving in the car and the person who is riding the bus where they can text while moving. The downside is that the systems are expensive with one company charging $130 for the device that admits the tone the phone listens for to block texting.
 
While parents of young drivers and drivers themselves may be looking apps to help curb distracted driving, the federal government is looking to law enforcement. The Transportation Department awarded $2.4 million to Delaware and California to operate pilot projects combining more police enforcement of bans along with publicity campaigns against distracted driving. Reducing accidents caused by distracted driving is one of the reasons some auto manufacturers and search giant Google are pushing for automated vehicles. An automated vehicle in some instances is able to drive itself, taking the driver out of the equation.
 
"If you are really going to look to the future, you are going to have to ask yourself: Is Google right? Should we have driverless cars?" said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety, a consumer group. "The computer driven car with a GPS system is going to make less mistakes than a human being. The question is, is society ready for it?"

Source: The Detroit News



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RE: Uncertain?
By EricMartello on 6/30/2012 2:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't particularly disagree with the mulletman's sentiment, but it's failing to consider that in the process of these idiots killing themselves while driving there is a small chance they take out someone who isn't an idiot. We can mitigate this collateral damage because truly intelligent people are an endangered species.

The solution isn't more nanny-tech in new cars or more laws, what we do need is more stringent driver exams and higher base fees for owning and operating a vehicle. Figure about $3,000 per year in fees to maintain a vehicle, per vehicle.

The additional expense along with the stricter licensing requirements would clear the roads of most problem drivers, kids, old people, poor people and other undesirables who really shouldn't be driving in the first place.

For the people who do get to drive, the fees they pay can be used to develop private shuttle services for the people who don't or can't drive. Accelerate and implement new tech like autonomously-driven vehicles and offer them as low-cost public transportation to people who cannot for whatever reason own and operate their own car.


RE: Uncertain?
By millerm277 on 7/3/2012 3:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Fees are an idiotic solution. They will just kick the poor off the road, which have nothing to do with distracted driving.

Stricter drivers tests that test relevant skills and knowledge would be useful, with mandatory retesting every X years.


RE: Uncertain?
By Keeir on 7/6/2012 8:46:44 PM , Rating: 3
Wait...

your solution is to severely punish those who have the capability to drive and reward those who can not?

Way to -encourage- personal responsibility and freedom.


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