Push to block using phones while driving

The United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has plans to block texting, watching videos, and looking at photos while driving. This is part of an initiative to limit accidents which can be caused by mobile phone distractions.

A report by Wired quoted Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the NHTSA, as saying that regulation coupled with standards set by automakers and the electronics industry could reduce fatalities.

The NHTSA Guidelines recommend that in-vehicle devices be designed so that they cannot be used by the driver to perform these inherently distracting activities while driving.

The NHTSA’s list of activities considered to inherently interfere with a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle include:

  • displaying video not related to driving;
  • displaying certain graphical or photographic images;
  • displaying automatically scrolling text;
  • manual text entry for the purpose of text-based messaging, other communication, or internet browsing; and
  • displaying text for reading from books, periodical publications, web page content, social media content, text-based advertising and marketing, or text-based messages.

According to the NHTSA these recommendations are not intended to prevent the display of images related to driving.

It said it will support the display of things such as simple, two-dimensional map displays for the purpose of navigation and images for the purpose of aiding a driver in viewing blind areas around a vehicle, as long as they are displayed in a safe manner.

In South Africa stricter measures are also implemented to prevent people from using their mobile phones while driving.

In Cape Town, for example, motorists caught talking or texting on their cellphones will be fined R500 and have their phones confiscated for a day.

More on texting while driving

Voice-to-text while driving is not safe: study

SA’s mobile obsession while driving

The impossible texting and driving test

Road Traffic calls for compulsory hands-free kits

Cape Town may seize driver cellphones

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Push to block using phones while driving