Government May Use Tech To Stop Cell Phone Use In Cars

People are so insistent on driving while using their cell phones that only death in a car accident will stop them from doing so. Spurred by the prevalence of fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers — 5,500 last year — the government is mulling over the concept of using technology to force drivers to put down their phones.

MSNBC reports the U.S. Department of Transportation is evaluating devices that will disable cell phones if they’re moving at a specific speed. Finally, Sandra Bullock’s people have a solid idea for Speed 3.

MSNBC speaks to an expert who speculates that “driven” drivers will find ways to work around such technology, so no matter what’s implemented, it will be up to drivers to make the right decision.

Do you think it’s worth giving up the ability to drive-and-dial in return for increased safety?

Gov’t evaluating cell phone blocking tech in cars [MSNBC]
(Thanks, Chris!)

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  1. zigziggityzoo says:

    No big deal, until you get into an accident and can’t dial 911.

    Or witness an accident and can’t dial 911.

    Or get stuffed into a trunk and can’t dial 911.

    • Andy S. says:

      Presumably, if you’ve been in an accident, your speed is zero MPH. If this technology would disable phones that are, as the article states, “moving at a specific speed”, then I suspect that you’d be more than capable of using your phone from inside a stationary automobile.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Unless you witness an accident and have to keep going because you can’t slam on your breaks while on the highway.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Or the neighborhood drug dealer is operating his drive through heroine stand and your passenger wants to report it to the police.

          • shaft711 says:

            Pimps run the drive-through heroine stands in my neighborhood; the drug dealers stick to heroin.

          • Andy S. says:

            If she was really a heroine, she’d stop the drug dealer herself.

            (no, seriously. Heroine = female hero, heroin = opium-based drug)

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              I’m aware of the difference, for some reason when I type quickly I add an extraneous ‘e’. I do the same thing with the letter ‘h’ in any word that ends in -burg.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I can’t believe I typed “breaks” instead of “brakes.” I need more coffee.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Unintended acceleration anyone?

        • Andy S. says:

          Pretty sure that victims of unintended acceleration are too busy trying to get their vehicle under control to also manage making an emergency phone call. I’d be willing to wager that most, if not all reports of unintended acceleration called in by the driver of the affected car were made after the car had come to a stop, one way or another.

          • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

            Definitely not all. There was a heartbreaking 911 call posted on this blog, I believe, from a driver with a stuck accelerator.

          • rooben says:

            Didn’t you hear that recording of the off duty police officer and his family drive their car into a wall, while on the phone with 911? Chilling..
            Howeve, you can’t assume that all 911 calls made in the car would be in a place of safety. As many have brought up…..Passengers.

      • zigziggityzoo says:

        and then what, you’re SOL for the other two scenarios?

        And what’s stopping the tech from being DAMAGED during the accident causing it to malfunction and still stop you from dialing 911?

        • Andy S. says:

          The other two scenarios are indeed valid, though:

          1) if you witness an accident, you’re supposed to stop anyway so that you can give a report to the police. If you actually witness the accident and you drive away — even if you bother to call 911 — you’re kind of a jerk.

          2) I’d argue that if someone is willing to stuff you into a trunk and drive around town with you thusly stuffed, they’d probably think to take your phone away.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            I saw a car get knocked into a guard rail going about 60mph. Someone bumped them, they rotated 90 degrees and went straight in. I would have stopped, but I was going THE OTHER WAY, and there would have been 6 freeway lanes between myself and them! I still called, they probably needed help right away.

          • GearheadGeek says:

            They might think you’re unconscious or dead and not consider the cell phone (they might have gotten quite excited in the act of rendering you unconscious, for example.) You might be a dork like me who has 2 phones (personal and work) and could give up 1 phone and keep the other for calling from the trunk.

            I’ve seen it reported that cell phones have sharply improved emergency response to crimes as well as accidents… I have called 911 when I’ve seen people driving as if impaired when they seemed to be a danger to themselves and others… I backed off far enough to be out of their potential sphere of destruction but still see where they were going so I could report at least their initial location when I got through to a 911 operator. If I’d had to stop before I could even place the call, I wouldn’t have been able to give a current location for the erratic driver.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              Yep. During college, my roommates and I would take weekend trips and whenever we spotted someone driving erratically, we dialed the local state trooper’s office and gave them our location, a vehicle description and a plate number, if we could see it.

        • Griking says:

          What’s stopping the YOUR PHONE from being damaged during the accident causing it to malfunction and still stop you from dialing 911?

          • zigziggityzoo says:

            I’ll take my chances with my phone being damaged. Let’s not introduce more points for failure and justify it by sidestepping the issue.

            • Griking says:

              But isn’t that what you just did by introducing your “what if” scenario?

              Any unplanned incident can cause problems

    • MikeF74 says:

      While I think the idea is utterly stupid, I’m sure there would be exceptions for 911 calls.

      • zigziggityzoo says:

        The only way to do this with current phones is by modifying the phone’s internal software. Alternatively, the car itself can block all cell phone signal within a certain radius.

        The first method requires new phones or a software update. The second method blocks 911 calls, and every other call within the radius. A car next to yours could also block the call.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I hope so. There have been many times where I was driving and my wife called 911 to report witnessing a crime.

        This technology will be annoying and hopefully it will be possible to opt out of it (unlike TPMS which is mandatory). I like to listen to Pandora while driving and my passengers should be able to make as many calls as they want.

        • David Ciani says:

          whats wrong with the tire pressure sensors? I know the mechanic disconnected the ones on my mom’s minivan at some point because they were giving false alarms all the time.

          (She also got rid of the run flat tires and now caries around a full size tire in the back but thats another story)

          • Scurvythepirate says:

            I’ll tell you what’s annoying about TPMS. If you live somewhere where it gets cold during the winter months, like I do, both mine and my wife’s car constantly has the TMPS light turn on and stay on for the entire winter. Even if you put more air in the tires.

            Or if you put on a set of aftermarket rims and don’t want to dish out the $$$ for a sensor then you get the wonderful TPMS light on at all times. I used some electrical tape to cover mine up when I used to have 2 sets of rims.

            There should be a toggle switch to turn it off if you don’t need it.

          • GearheadGeek says:

            You described one of the big issues with TPMS… false alarms from crappy systems. TPMS is useful for people with run-flats, but even they should be able to occasionally check the air pressure in their tires, it’s not very hard. My own car is thankfully pre-mandate, but I’ve noticed in several rentals I’ve driven that there were issues with the TPMS… a van I rented to go fetch a custom door was reporting problems, so I got out my air gauge and found that the tire pressures were all OK… was so annoyed by the constant warnings that I reset the TPMS system and it worked fine… until I shut off and restarted the PoS and it again started telling me there were problems with the sensors.

            It’s added expense for very little useful functionality… fine for people who WANT to pay extra for TPMS, sucks for those of us who aren’t so lazy or stupid that we can’t use a tire gauge.

        • Southern says:

          Because it’s for SAFETY!

          Now go back to showing your receipt for your own property and allowing to be x-rayed or patted down while getting on your airplane.. That’s a good boy.. (or girl)..

          (Not directed at you specifically, kb01.. Just wanted to point out the obvious, that everytime we allow the “little” things to squeeze by without complaint, they’ll take that as apathy and try to push for the big things).

        • ophmarketing says:

          “There have been many times where I was driving and my wife called 911 to report witnessing a crime.”

          You routinely witness 911-worthy crimes while driving around? Where do you live…Gotham City?

    • alSeen says:

      Or heaven forbid your passenger want to make a call.

      • falnfenix says:

        BUT THAT’S DISTRACTING TO THE DRIVER ZOMGZ RABBLERABBLE.

        seriously, though, way to fail government douchebags.

    • spamtasticus says:

      I can assure you that something will happen besides the need to dial 911 that will end up killing someone. As a motorcyclist I abhor distracted drivers with a passion but this is not the way to stop them. A better way would be to have traffic officers start following the Hypocritical slogans on the sides of their cars. “To Protect and Serve”. Instead of “To generate revenue”. They could then drive around in marked or unmarked cars looking for people driving distracted. Cell phone dialing, texting, shaving, makeup, reading etc. Then pull them over and give them a reckless driving ticket. That would be 1000 times more effective than this moronic idea.

      • spamtasticus says:

        To clarify. I mean hypocritical because they spend the majority of their time trying to give out speeding tickets that generate a ton of revenue while protecting relatively very little. Yes speeding makes it more dangerous but not paying attention to driving will kill someone at 10mph.

      • RAEdwards says:

        Would those be the same Police Officers i see around here driving even faster than I am with a cell phone plastered to their ear? It always bothered me that there was a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality with the police sometimes.

        • Rachacha says:

          I was going to say the same thing. I recently saw a cop in Maryland (where it is illegal to use a phone while driving) with lights and siren on driving well above the speed limit holding a cell phone up to his ear. I could be wrong, but I guess that any “official” communications would come over his radio, and not a cell phone, so I guess that this was a personal call, but either way, he should have been using a hands free device while driving, and hung up the phone (unless it was critical to this emergency response) while responding to an emergency.

      • Griking says:

        “MSNBC reports the U.S. Department of Transportation is evaluating devices that will disable cell phones if they’re moving at a specific speed. “

        I’m pretty sure that once you get into an accident you’d no longer be traveling at the target speed and your phone will work again.

        • zigziggityzoo says:

          Unless the device broke. Things tend to break when they get hit by another massive object at 70MPH.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            If it broke… then it wouldn’t be working… and it wouldn’t be blocking cell signals.

            The same effect could be achieved by requiring power to the device from the alternator.

            • zigziggityzoo says:

              When you crash and the horn breaks, and you can tell because it’s constantly blaring and you can’t make it stop – does that mean it’s functioning properly since the horn is “working”?

              Things don’t break and stop functioning. They break and stop functioning AS DESIGNED.

          • trentblase says:

            That’s why you make the call while you’re flying through the air (if you’re smart, you didn’t buckle up and are thrown free of the crash). This new technology would thwart that.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          Or somehow you can’t find it or have the ability to operate it if you do.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Right, except that there are plenty of times where the driver is not the one on the phone. I carpool with a friend, and she often calls her husband while I’m driving us home. “Should we go to the store? did you need anything?”

        • megafly says:

          If you were say, being chased by a VW van loaded with RPG toting Libyan terrorists, would you pull over in order to call the police? or would you want a mobile option?

      • golddog says:

        Amen brother.

      • Suburban Idiot says:

        So 5,500 people per year allegedly die because of distracted driving in the USA, so we want to put in technology that will prevent everyone in the car (not just the driver) from using cellphones (I like how “distracted driving” is listed rather than straight cellphone use, as if nothing is distracting to drivers except cellphones. The government’s own data show that as much as 75% of fatal distracted driving crashes are not cellphone related).

        Alcohol-related car crashes kill about FIVE TIMES as many people per year, so where are the mandatory breathalyzers or what-have-you in cars?

        And bad weather is responsible for about 50% more fatal crashes per year than distracted driving, so we need to put in something that prevents cars from operating in bad weather.

        And if we really need to cut down on distracted driving, we need to look at other distractions, too.

        How about disabling the radio in cars that aren’t stopped? How about mandating that cars can only have one seat (passengers are distracting)?

        The most distracting thing for me when I drive is the two small children I’ve got bolted in the backseat. They’re always making noise or crying or asking questions over and over again or wanting me to try to pick up whatever they just threw on the floor and give it back to them. I imagine that outlawing carrying children in cars would cut down on distracted driving accidents, too.

        I personally don’t tend to use my cellphone much at all, let alone while I’m driving. BUT I do sometimes have a passenger in my car who will use a cellphone while I’m driving. I’m not sure what’s any more distracting about that (if anything, it lessens the distraction since I don’t have to carry on a conversation with the passenger), but I guess the government needs to outlaw that, too.

      • Willow16 says:

        Enforcement would be the way to go in my opinion. When I see a car where the driver is obviously distracted, I can usually tell if they’re on a cell phone or texting so why can’t the police (maybe because the police are too busy looking at facebook on the car’s laptop – yep actually saw this in my town as the cop was driving by while I was walking). If they started cracking down, perhaps this would stop people from talking/texting while driving.

    • NumberSix says:

      I’m guessin 911 calls would be exempt. If not, then disable GPS on the phone first.

      • Difdi says:

        Even without GPS, the basic nature of cell phone technology would allow the towers themselves to determine movement. It would have a higher error rate than GPS (for example, heavy tower call load might produce false positives on movement tests) though.

    • JonStewartMill says:

      How about a feature that prevents *texting* while the vehicle is in motion, but allows voice calls?

      • Southern says:

        This would have to use some type of “jamming” technology that james the frequency that cell phones operate on, so it would negate any use of the phone whatsoever.. Voice, Data, Text, etc.

        Unless they (the FCC or whomever) made it a requirement that a phone travelling over “X” MPH (measureably by built in GPS) would automatically disable THEMSELVES.. But that would take 10 years to implement, and then they’d have to wait until all the old “non-compliant” phones were phased out of the market and slowly replaced by consumers upgrading to new phones.

        I really wouldn’t expect something like this to pass, but at the same time I wouldn’t have expected a city to ban happy meals, either. :P

    • trellis23 says:

      “will disable cell phones if they’re moving at a specific speed”

      If you get into an accident, you will not be going at any speed and thus will be able to call.

      If you witness an accident, you should pull over and call.

      If you get stuffed in a trunk, they’ll probably take your cell away.

      • zigziggityzoo says:

        Problem solved then? We should just go ahead and barrel forward with this amazing breakthrough?

        So if the accident causes the tech to break, and stay on, then what?

        What if the accident is due to adverse weather conditions, and it’s dangerous for you to stop? Then what?

        What if they don’t take your phone away?

        • FenrirIII says:

          So what exactly did people do BEFORE cellphones? Smoke signals? You’re looking for every negative effect you can find to justify your position and have crossed into the realm of lunacy. Hopefully this type of thing won’t be implemented as badly as you think it will.

  2. tofupuppy says:

    Dumb and not going to happen. Opt-in? Right. And even if it’s not opt-in, that would mean that passengers’ phones are disabled too. Big problems.

    • freelunch says:

      and unless they manage to implement this technology into the car, it will have to be built into the phone….

      who is going to buy a crippled phone?

      can’t take calls while on the train? in a taxi? on a boat? riding a goat?… move your sim over to your old blackberry for the trip…

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        It won’t have to be built into the phone. It will be a signal from the car which kills your phone signal. Devices like this are in use in hospitals and movie theaters already and have been for years. I’ve been jamming cell phone signals since the late 90s, so nothing new here. What you are missing is that this isn’t a proposed law. It is just something they are talking about putting into cars to increase safety. Some people just know that they need to have the freedom taken away from them before they can stop doing what they are doing. Sort of like blocking facebook from your computer to keep you from being on it as much.

  3. Its_Miller_Time says:

    What about the other people that may be riding in a car? Are they to be punished, too? Ugh? And what about storied where the guy who had the run-away Lexus who crashed sparking the massive Toyota recall, or you’re being chased in a car by someone with a gun…? Will 911 be exempt from this? Then how does talking to 911 mean any less of a distraction then talking to your mom or brother or friend?

    I see more people doing other things, eating, trying to put on make-up, reading than people talking on cell phones around here…

    • Murph1908 says:

      Agree. Agree. Agree.

      But the 911 argument doesn’t hold water. 911 calls are rare compared to normal calls. If you eliminate all but 911 calls, you will cut down the number of drivers on cell phones by close to 100%. Sure, the 911 calls will be as, if not more, distracting than a normal call. But there’s maybe 1 person on the beltway making such a call at any given time, instead of thousands on their phone.

      /enddevilsadvocate

      • Harry Manback says:

        If it is aware of when you are calling 911, then it would have to be either a device in the cell phone or something done by the cell tower. Both of those options mean trains, buses, and any other time you are moving faster than X your phone would be disabled. An in car system that would be able to know who you are calling would be very expensive.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      That is a damn good point. I wouldn’t want to be a passenger in a car with no cell signal at freeway speeds. You might as well just start enforcing the laws we have than take away freedoms of people who aren’t doing anything wrong.

    • Nogard13 says:

      Not to mention if you’re riding on a train or bus, in which case you pose ZERO danger of crashing. Will cell phones know if you’re not driving?

    • jesusofcool says:

      Exactly. This would block passenger signals, calls made from public transportation, etc. Stupid. And what if you’re using a hands free or speakerphone system?
      Frankly, it’s all too easy to do stupid things while driving. It comes down to adults making smart choices.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    I can’t imagine how this can be implemented. The passenger? Kids in the back? How can blocking technology distinguish which seat the cellphone user is occupying?

    There are many other behind the wheel tasks as (or more) dangerous than cell phone usage. We are going to have a hard time using technology to stop coffee drinking, mascara applying, etc. etc.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Reading.

      I saw a woman reading a paperback on the interstate on my way home from work a month or so ago.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      So… because we can’t prevent one of them, we shouldn’t even bother trying?

      That’s like saying that because the TSA can’t stop ALL weapons from getting onto planes, we should just have no security whatsoever at the airport. One extreme is just as ridiculous as the other.

      There’s no reason to talk on the phone in a car going at speed. (Well, OK, as soon as override systems are installed on all those Toyotas, and mandatory.) If you, or someone else in the car, wants to talk on the phone, you can pull over for ten seconds. The same thing goes for eating, applying mascara, and everything else you mentioned.

      We can only prevent one distraction with a technological method, but that method is inexpensive and non-invasive.

      • jedsa says:

        There may be no reason to talk on the phone at speed while driving, but for crying out loud, has anyone ever heard of cars, trucks, suvs, and BUSES, that carry these newfangled things called passengers?

      • Harry Manback says:

        Just because you want to block two functions of a phone (texting and talking), doesn’t mean you need to block all of the legitimate uses along with it. The technology being talked about (some sort of jamming or scrambling device) would do just that, and by design it does not differentiate (it doesn’t know if you are calling 911 or 411, if you are driving or just a passenger, etc). The idea is fine (block texting and talking for the driver), but this technology will never be the right answer.

  5. He says:

    Uh, what about buses and trains?

  6. aggrazel says:

    This will be a non-problem once all our cars drive themselves. Quit wasting time on stopgap technology and start pushing the technology we really want/need.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

    • freelunch says:

      want?
      need?

      I want my car to drive me just about as much as I want my car to shift gears for me.

      It horifies me to think that one day I may be forced to pay more money for a car that forces me to be a passenger, rather than operate the vehicle myself.

      • pz says:

        Prepare to be horrified, because as far as insurance companies are concerned, your’re the most unsafe piece of equipment in your car.

        Expect them to (at the least) require mandatory AI driving systems in order to have insurance bills below $1000 month, or (at the most) lobby hard to get them required for driving on all federally-maintained roads. Probably by 2025 or so.

    • exconsumer says:

      YES! No more traffic violations, or traffic jams, or accidents. Self Driving Cars FTW!!!

  7. obits3 says:

    If this happens, I can see the value of used cars going up.

    • NumberSix says:

      I think the tech would be implemented at the phone, not the car.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Actually, it would be implemented at the cell company through its cell towers. Cell phones do not have GPS, they have a triangulation point from cell towers. Go someplace you do not have coverage and bam, no ‘GPS’. Most cell phones do not have a clock either, time comes from the tower. Time is needed for billing and ‘GPS’ is a byproduct of CALEA.

        • jnads says:

          Actually it’s a bit simpler than that.

          For the phone to lock onto the cell tower, it has to compensate when you move. Doppler shift.

          It won’t give position, but velocity information is already in cell phones.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            Most cell phones have very little computing power. Cell towers triangulate and track movement so they can hand off the stream efficiently. Using a PLL doesn’t normally give you a number the CPU can use and I doubt the wimpy CPU is doing floating point math to stay locked onto the cell tower as the phone moves.

        • jason in boston says:

          Hi. This isn’t 1990. GPS chips are installed in most smart-phones. A-GPS is only used for initial zoning.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            LOL hahaha that’s rich! Please point me to the datasheet of one of these cellphone GPS chips. While you’re at it, I’d like to see the low cost microwave antenna they install in these phones. Why the heck do I need to buy a real GPS when my free cell phone has the same capability?

  8. hypochondriac says:

    How about also putting breathalyzers in every car as well? If your over the legal limit it won’t start? Wouldn’t that save more lives then this cell phone restriction thing

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      NO. Don’t EVEN go there. The “legal limit” is bullshit foisted upon us thanks to MADD and the Insurance companies.
      Most if not ALL actual drunken driving CAUSED accidents occur when the driver is somewhere in the range above .015 (you know, the old “legal limit”).

      But don’t believe me, look into it for yourself.

  9. Red_Eye says:

    IT IS WORTH GIVING UP ANY LIBERTY MY ALL KNOWING GOVERNMENT WISHES SAYETH THE FLOCK.

    Bunch of worthless sheep. Breathing is risky too so lets all jack in to the matrix and live in a dream world where everyone is safe as long as they dont piss off the people in charge.

    • Overheal says:

      Who said anything about pissing people off in charge? I would think it’s more to do with road fatalities.

      I guess your liberty wouldn’t matter much if you were paralyzed when someone ran the red light. Or killed.

  10. wickedpixel says:

    I can think of all sorts of reasons this is a stupid idea.
    1) emergencies
    2) this would prevent passengers from using their phones as well
    3) cell phone based gps wouldn’t work
    4) people could likely disable it pretty easily after buying the car anyway

    • MB17 says:

      I can think of a good one: it would get people to pay attention to the fucking road while operating a two-ton piece of machinery that can travel up to 130 mph.

      • evnmorlo says:

        After driving enters muscle memory the mind will wander with or without cellphones. People can barely walk straight

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          This is very true. Ever drive home and then when you arrive, you don’t remember getting there? Or when you get home you realize you needed to stop on the way and didn’t? The route becomes so familiar you don’t even notice.

      • d0x360 says:

        130? My car can hit 170 and once i past 165 i always pull my phone out and play angry birds.

      • falnfenix says:

        i guess there has to be at least one supporter in every post…

  11. Ilovegnomes says:

    As a passenger in a car, recently I saw a big rig flip multiple times on the freeway and I called 911. We didn’t have to stop and help because we were headed in the opposite direction (and it wouldn’t have been safe to cross that many lanes of traffic). So… if the government had its way, I would have to endanger ourselves by having to pull over on the freeway to call for help for someone else? No thanks! Just because some people abuse technology, it isn’t worth it ruining it for the people who need it for legit reasons.

    • RevancheRM says:

      How would stopping and make a phone call be hindered by the rules as stated in both the original article and the post above.

      • zatoism says:

        She was a PASSENGER in a moving vehicle. Therefore, she doesn’t have to pull over to make the call. But w/ this enacted, her phone would have been disabled.

      • Murph1908 says:

        Reading comprehension FTL

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Having to pull over on the freeway isn’t nearly as dangerous as having to re-enter traffic (especially if it’s busy) once you’re done with your phone call. I never, ever, ever pull over on a high speed freeway or highway unless it’s an absolute emergency.

        • Ilovegnomes says:

          Exactly. And in these circumstances, we may not have felt it was worth the risk to us to pull over on a freeway (putting ourselves in danger too)… which means the 911 call would not have been made as soon, if at all. For an injury accident, those extra moments could have meant life or death to that person. So you potentially save lives by potentially endangering others? I think the government should put that money elsewhere.

  12. c!tizen says:

    How about this…

    caught texting while driving or not using a hands free device while driving…

    1st offense: $300 ticket
    2nd offense: $500 ticket and a 10% insurance hike, mandatory drivers ed class
    3rd offense: $1000 ticket, 15% insurance hike (in addition to the first 10%), point on your license
    4th offense: license revoked for 6 months
    5th offense: public stoning.

    • obits3 says:

      Change that to public stoning of their car and you have my vote, lol

    • ubermex says:

      Get rid of “without a handsfree device” and you have my vote

      • Rocket says:

        Keep it and you have mine.

        • Chmeeee says:

          Hands-free device laws are placebos. The distraction comes from talking on the phone, not from holding a phone. Numerous studies have proven this, however it’s not a popular answer for law makers. Doing nothing is not popular, banning the use completely is also not popular.

          • c!tizen says:

            Do you have links to any of those studies? I’d be interested in seeing who conducted them, how they were conducted and what the difference is between talking on a hands-free set and talking with a passenger in the car with you.

            Using a hands free device while on a business call that’s going to have you looking at paperwork or emails for information is going to be just as dangerous, but a casual call to mom to see how her weekend was I can’t see being more distracting then asking your kid how their day at school went while they’re sitting right next to you or in the back seat.

            • Chmeeee says:

              I’ll see if I can find one when I have a little more spare time, but the gist of it is contextual awareness.

              When you talk to a passenger, two things happen: the passenger provides a second set of eyes at least part of the time and you are comfortable with pauses in the conversation. If you are talking to your passenger and something which requires increased attention (tough intersection, people stopping suddenly, etc), you probably just stop talking midsentence until the situation is resolved.

              When you’re on the phone, you’re not comfortable just abruptly pausing, as that’s a bit odd for a phone conversation. Furthermore, you tend to picture the person on the other end, occupying more of your mental capacity.

            • Chmeeee says:

              I can’t find the study that I am familiar with, but here are two more:

              http://www.psych.utah.edu/AppliedCognitionLab/DrivingAssessment2003.pdf

              http://pss.sagepub.com/content/12/6/462

              It’s natural though. Drive around while holding your phone (off) in your hand. Is it really that distracting? Most drivers don’t use two hands anyways.

              • c!tizen says:

                These are some interesting articles and links, thanks for providing them. I read through some of the reference links and have come to the conclusion that it basically comes down to the person driving, the conversation they’re having, and their ability to multitask.

                In one of the reference links to the article you provided, http://pbr.psychonomic-journals.org/content/17/1/15.abstract, it says “Measures of driving performance suggested that the drivers gave priority to the driving task when they were conversing. As a result, their linguistic performance suffered.” This sounds like something I do. I’ll trip over my words all day long before I’ll take my focus off of the most important task. I should also note that I won’t talk on my phone in heavy traffic (unless it’s a traffic jam and I’m not really going anywhere.)

                Another article, http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/10/1383.abstract, though indirectly stating it, makes a compelling argument that it’s more distracting to have your passenger on the phone than for you to be on it… this can get pretty confusing with all of these studies.

                My car links to my phone via BT so when I get a call I push a button on my steering wheel and my radio automatically stops and the conversation is carried out through the speakers so I almost feel like I’m talking to the radio, and probably look that way to others as well. I never take my eyes off the road or my hands off the steering wheel to answer or end a call, which I guess makes me a little bias as far as the hands-free argument goes. I also have voice recognition commands so I can place a call without letting go of the wheel or taking my eyes off the road. I know not all cars have this capability, and it can be a pricey option, but if the government insists on making suggestions like this abortion of an idea, maybe they should start by requiring cell phone makers and car manufactures to implement hands-free systems like this as a standard instead of an option. It would at least be a better start then this “we’re just gonna kill your cell phone while you drive” nonsense.

            • Difdi says:

              While it’s not a study of hands-free VS not hands-free, the Mythbusters did test whether driving while talking on the phone really does impair you as much as driving drunk does. They found that just mindless chatting was less impairing than being drunk, but any conversation that required thought was more impairing. And impairments are cumulative (if you’re 5 times more likely to have an accident on a phone, and 4 times more likely when drunk, you’re 20 times more likely when talking on the phone while drunk).

    • ARP says:

      I would make #5, tarring and feathering or a Iron Maiden (Run for the Hills…..)

    • NumberSix says:

      Or at least a point on your license. Here in CA, it’s not even a point.

    • Difdi says:

      6th: Defenestration from the top floor of the Chrysler Building.

  13. peebozi says:

    if it saves one life then I’m willing to give up all my my constitutional rights!

    just kidding, I’m not a terrified, 4 year old whining brat.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      You have a constitutional right to put the lives of everyone in your car, as well as the lives of everyone else around you on the road, at risk because you needed to call and confirm a massage? I don’t think so.

      Your rights are suspended when you knowingly and wilfully endanger the health and life of another person.

      • ccooney says:

        Perspective much? You sound like one of those people that like passing laws ‘for the children’. Seriously, this sort of thing is way over the top, and we have better things to worry about.

  14. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I would hope those with clean driving records could opt out of this technology.

  15. sufreak says:

    Or we could enforce the laws in place. Maybe some stricter fines and punishments.

  16. aloria says:

    I use my phone to listen to Pandora on long drives. It’s sure as hell better than switching CDs every 45-60 minutes, flipping through radio stations when I drive out of range/get sick of listening to the same 10 songs on repeat, etc.

    I don’t text or take calls while driving, so this would actually make my drives LESS safe.

  17. RevancheRM says:

    Haven’t read all the replies, but I firmly expect that everyone who argues that we should not expect to fly without being groped or photographed in the nude due to safety concerns will support this measure. I’m much more worried about Suzy Soccermom or Tow Truck Ted texting away and killing my seven year old son than I am Mustafah bringing his plane down in the absence of porno machines.

    I don’t expect to hear cries of ‘government intrusion’ from the same people who defend the violation of my constitutional rights to privacy. If we don’t have the right to fly, then we definitely don’t have the right to cell phone use while driving.

  18. obits3 says:

    Text 74337 to opt in…

  19. Andy S. says:

    Three major problems I see here:

    1) as others have stated, the proposed solution would disable passengers’ phones as well. Further, phones would be disabled when riding any form of transit — bus, train, taxi, etc. (though, I suspect many bus/train riders would welcome the enforced silence of their fellow passengers)

    2) No mention of whether they’re talking about disabling voice only or data as well, or if they can even block one without the other. With smartphone GPS apps becoming more common, and with some of them pulling down maps in real-time over their data connection, the proposed tech could potentially put an end to the use of any sort of application that uses wireless data, regardless of whether it actually distracts the driver (Pandora, for instance, would be one such app that can be used without providing a distraction unique to mobile devices)

    3) Would this kill incoming calls as well? What if there’s an emergency and someone needs to call me while I’m on a long road trip? Blocking the incoming call would mean that I might not know about the emergency for hours.

    • oneandone says:

      I immediately thought of your #1 issue, since I don’t have a car but am an extensive user of public transit and Amtrak (and sometimes taxis). While I would give up in an instant my ability to use my phone (not a smartphone) on the train if it meant no one else could use theirs either, most of my conversations or texts while in taxis, buses, and the metro are urgent and related to where I’m going. I’m sure there are plenty of people with smartphones who use public transit commute time to check emails, read, etc.

  20. RevancheRM says:

    Haven’t read all the replies, but I firmly expect that everyone who argues that we should not expect to fly without being groped or photographed in the nude due to safety concerns will support this measure. I’m much more worried about Suzy Soccermom or Tow Truck Ted texting away and killing my seven year old son than I am Mustafah bringing his plane down in the absence of porno machines.

    I don’t expect to hear cries of ‘government intrusion’ from the same people who defend the violation of my constitutional rights to privacy. If we don’t have the right to fly, then we definitely don’t have the right to cell phone use while driving.

  21. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    What about GPS? My phone uses the cell signal to make that happen. Not cool!

  22. markedward says:

    Okay. What about PASSENGERS?

  23. DanRydell says:

    Fine by me as long as they can differentiate between drivers and passeners

  24. Stickdude says:

    Why stop there? Just include a friendly TSA agent (cars are transportation, after all) with every new car to give you a freedom pat before allowing you to drive. if you don’t like that idea, you’re just a terrorist wanting to blow himself sky high on a busy freeway some day.

  25. MikeB says:

    What happens if someone is being chased by a “bad guy”? I can see this happening in a domestic violence situation.

    • evnmorlo says:

      I do like to order a pizza so it’s waiting for me when I come home after another successful assault

    • trellis23 says:

      You do what you did before cell phones, you keep driving until you reach a police station. I love how people panic and flip out about not being able to use cells while driving (some for even less reason than this), with no sense of irony, that ten-fifteen years ago cell phones were not an option to 90% of drivers and we all survived just fine.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I can see that not being possible for a lot of people, especially people who live in more rural parts. If the hospital is 45 minutes away, how far do you think the police are? Not to mention that if I’m on the road and unfamiliar with surrounding areas, it would be really hard for me to just drive to the police station.

        I’m in a city, and if I needed police assistance and I was driving, I would call 911 because there could be a police officer half a mile away who can help me, versus the police station that is 5 miles in the other direction. Time is of the essence when you feel as if your life is in real danger, or you need help right away.

  26. Runner says:

    Death rate extrapolations for USA for Obesity: 300,000 per year, 25,000 per month, 5,769 per week, 821 per day, 34 per hour, 0 per minute, 0 per second. Note: this extrapolation calculation uses the deaths statistic: 300,000 premature deaths associated with obesity annually (CDC)

    Deaths from Using Cells phones per year… 5,500.

    Money spent fighting Obesity, not that much. Money going to fight using cell phones while driving, Probably almost $1 billion. (Figuring $1k added to cellphones and vehicles combined sold from now on).

    Yep, we have our priorities in-line.

    • HannahK says:

      I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s the same thing. On the one hand there is a large group of people who we know could have lived longer if they had different lifestyles, and that’s unfortunate. But you’re comparing that to lives that were ended instantly from a driver’s split second distraction. I’m by no means suggesting that obese people bring it upon themselves or deserve anything negative, I just mean there is a difference between legislating lifestyle choices over time versus trying to prevent those moments of distracted driving. It’s a lot harder to crack down on the former (though I do think you’re underestimating how much money goes into obesity research).

  27. aloria says:

    What about doctors, emergency firefighters, etc? Are obstetricians not going to go on long drives for fear a patent goes into labor while they’re on the road? When I’m on-call on a weekend, does this mean I’m basically housebound because the emergency cell won’t go off if I’m in a car with a friend?

    • EverCynicalTHX says:

      Dude..really?

      Get a pager….it’s like $10 a month.

      • MMD says:

        Do they even make pagers anymore?

        Are you really advocating outmoded technology as the solution here?

      • MrEvil says:

        The only pagers you can buy anymore are the local network ones because hospitals are still deathly afraid that cell phones are going to start breaking medical equipment. Doctors these days almost always use a cell away from the hospital.

  28. David Ciani says:

    Many people have said it before, It would need to be able to tell if someone is actually driving the car vs being a passenger (in a car, bus, train, etc…) and it would also need to be able to differentiate between phone calls and other data services (pandora, google maps, etc…). In some states using a hands free device is ok, so it would have to have an option to permit those too as well as outbound emergency calls.

    Can’t we just do what we do for everything else? Cop catches you = big fine.

  29. Kitten Mittens says:

    Where’s the technology to prevent us from talking to passengers or fiddling with the radio? Cars should be isolation chambers that require at least 8 hours of sleep to operate.

  30. Jeff C says:

    Just think…if we’d had this technology on 9/11/2001, that last airplane would have crashed into its intended target in Washington, D.C. instead of an empty field in Pennsylvania.

  31. theblackdog says:

    Yes, because I really should have waited until I got home to call and report the grass fire that was starting up on the side of the road on a windy day. Since there was no safe place to pull over that would have been 10 minutes and potentially lots of damage later,

  32. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    What about passengers using cell phones?

  33. dolemite says:

    I don’t use my cell phone while driving, and I don’t feel like having another government mandated requirement added to the final cost of my car (just like the govt wants electronic stability control mandatory on every car, but that will jack up the price of each car hundreds of dollars).

  34. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    What about those of us with chauffeurs who drive us around in our Town Cars?

  35. brianisthegreatest says:

    “Do you think it’s worth giving up the ability to drive-and-dial in return for increased safety?”

    I don’t drive and use my phone, but if I absolutely needed to, I would. Unless they’re going to ban hands free I don’t see how this can be done. Also, should they ban hands free, think of all the people who will crash turning their radio dials. I have been a victim of a car accident involved with someone running a red light, with adjusting their radio dials as an excuse. So, keep focusing on cellphones as a distraction while it paves way for banning everything else you can do in a car.

    Besides frequency of use, you can’t tell me eating a hamburger and fries, or looking for quarters while approaching a toll stop is any more safe.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m in the same situation. I don’t talk and drive but if there’s an emergency, I would like to be contacted. My wife is in her third trimester of a high risk pregnancy and I would hate to be involuntarily incommunicado because of some Big Brother device in my car.

      I would hope that those with clean driving records could opt out of this technology.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      Also, I will add:

      When will I stop seeing police officers talking on their cell phones while driving? I want to stop seeing that before I see anyone else mandated to put down their phones. There is no ban in Florida yet, however.

  36. Sparty999 says:

    It would be a cool opt-in feature for your kids! but what about a passenger? seems kinda stupid and ill-conceived.

  37. BuddhaLite says:

    Why is it bad to use a cell phone while driving but OK to run a game show in a taxi cab?

  38. The cake is a lie! says:

    Bah… I’ve got a device which will disable your cell phone at any speed. Find out first hand by talking on your cell phone while driving next to me.

  39. duncanblackthorne says:

    1. This would create at least as many problems as it solves.
    2. Determined people will find a way around it.
    3. Companies will sell kits/chips/whatever to help people defeat/circumvent it.

    The real solution: Get people to take the law seriously. Unfortunately this will probably entail draconic, Nazi-like enforcement.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      I get what you’re saying, but your solution isn’t correct. I can’t imagine how many people speed, which is against the law. I can’t imagine you have never in your life went one mile an hour over the speed limit. I can’t imagine that you have used your turn signal at every single turn you have taken in your car. Does that mean you take the law seriously? There isn’t even a law banning phone use while driving in Florida, where I live.

      I think people should take safety seriously. Leave out the nazi’s and the cops, imo. Neither of those are possible. Not everyone will think about safety or think what they’re doing can effect someone else.

      Thank you however for respecting Godwin’s law.

  40. Mary says:

    Between this and the GPS that can’t be programmed unless you’re at a full stop, it seems like everybody is forgetting that people RIDE in cars too.

    Or on the metro. Or on a bus. Just because you’re moving a certain speed doesn’t mean you’re driving. That can’t be that hard to figure out, can it? We aren’t that stupid as a society now, are we?

  41. Branden says:

    just thinking out loud here, in order to make it law for cell phones to automatically disable themselves beyond specific speeds that would essentially mean that cell phones themselves would by law be required to know their speed. the only “reliable” and cost-effective solution would be to put GPS in every cell phone (and perhaps accelerometers to signal gaps).

    but then that would mean that EVERYONE in a moving car does not have a working phone, not just the driver. gotta pull over for anyone to make any kind of call, and i think hundreds of cars pulling on and off the shoulder every mile of highway would probably be much bigger hazard than letting people just talking while driving.
    it also means that if the driver needs to make an emergency call, such as a stuck gas pedal on their toyota, the driver would really be SOL.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      They aren’t talking about making it a law. Just like it isn’t a law to have some of the safety devices that newer cars come with, they are talking about making this something automakers would install in their vehicles and would activate a cell phone jamming signal (likely only effective to 10 meters,but still enough to kill the signal of the cars around you).

  42. banndndc says:

    Simply put, this does not seem to be worth the expense to implement. Considering our deficit, debt and crumbling infrastructure spending hundreds of millions of dollars for a small improvement in safety does not seem like a very good use of limited funds.

  43. Stuey says:

    I think it’s a potentially good idea if it’s an opt-in program. This way, a parent can block their teen drivers from using cell phones or texting while driving.

  44. oldwiz65 says:

    And how many people were killed by drunk drivers? The statistics from alcohol-alert.com say there were 13,846 alcohol related driving fatalities. I don’t see the government trying to come up with tech means to prevent someone who is drunk from driving a stupid car.

    Even with all the tech they will try it won’t stop people from talking and driving. And what about passengers? why shouldn’t passengers be allowed to talk? What about people riding the bus? People riding the train?

  45. carefree dude says:

    What if you’re just a passenger in a car, on a long car ride?

  46. josephpr says:

    Just treat it like an alarm system – insurance companies can motivate this by offering discountede premium rates for car owners opting for this.

    Years ago, when someone ahead of me was poking along, I would take a look when passing to see exactly how elderly the were; now this behavior just means they are on phone, and have gradually forgotten they were driving.

    As for other distracting behavior, yes, that is wrong too. So what. If you are old enough to havde a driver’s license, you shouldn’t get to use the nine year old’s “you let him get away with everything” whine. By the way, a few weeks ago I saw someone brushing their teeth while driving. That’s a first.

  47. coren says:

    Is there one to make them not put on makeup, eat, change the radio, mess with their gps, change clothes, etc.? Cuz cell phones ain’t the be all end all.

    What about people using the bluetooths? or passengers? The latter has very little to do with the driver and the former should be no more distracting than talking to the passenger – or are we legislating that away too?

  48. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Raymond LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation – what a joke.

    My wife gets directions on her cell sitting in the passenger seat while my son is on his droid-based phone in the back seat doing the GPS mapping and my daughter is texting next to him and my youngest is streaming music.

    Far more people will be maimed and killed in the ensuing nationwide riot if the Secretary of Transportation causes civil unrest by being a complete and utter moron. Or maybe not, look at what the TSA gets away with.

  49. AngryK9 says:

    What about the people who like to drive while reading the news paper…or surfing on their laptop…or brushing their teeth…or putting on makeup…or trying to get their dog/kids to sit still in the back of the car…or playing with their GPS…or shaving…or watching TV…

    The list could go on. I say that we outlaw cars and force everyone to ride bicycles.

  50. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    hey also why don’t we put speed limiters in all vehicles too since driving faster than 40 mph (60kph) results in lots of death and destruction

  51. c152driver says:

    When is this nanny state madness going to stop? Besides, mandating breathalyzer ignition lock-outs would save far more lives. And, no, I’m not suggesting we should do that either. I’m so sick and tired of everyone who thinks safety should trump everything else. Living in a free society comes with some risk.

  52. HannahK says:

    It is getting more and more common for your phone to be able to sync with your car (for speaker phone, playing music etc.) so it would be cool to have an app that recognizes that you’re driving and stores your texts for later, but this would have to be something that you opt into, to break what you know is a bad habit. I don’t see how this type of technology could be mandated anywhere in the near future.

  53. mmmwright says:

    Because no one ever died in a car accident before cell phones were invented; no one was ever distracted by a child or a bee flying in or anything ever before and banning cell phones will make sure that no one ever dies in a car accident again, right, DoT?

    This won’t increase safety but will only increase the federal government’s heavy grip on individual civil liberties.

  54. ianmac47 says:

    This seems kind of useless unless we also ban all the bad drivers who aren’t very good even without the distractions of cellular devices.

  55. no says:

    And passengers?

  56. Sunflower1970 says:

    This type of thing wouldn’t even even be an issue if people just had a bit of self control and DIDN’T talk on the phone while driving.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cars try to veer into my lane and they never look, and I’m right next to them.

    I don’t talk on the phone and drive. I’ll pull over, or have my conversation before I start the car, then explain I need to get off the phone since I’m going to be driving soon.

  57. heismanpat says:

    So, this is brilliant. I guess nobody ever thought of the scenario where you would be a *passenger* in the car.

  58. Mama Mayhem says:

    Screw that, what about passengers in the car? I enjoy watching Netflix when my husband drives.

  59. bruce9432 says:

    Why penalize the passenger

  60. haggis for the soul says:

    Wouldn’t anyone who bothered to “opt in” to this service possibly just not talk on their cellphone in their car in the first place?

  61. lolBunny says:

    I think this is bogus. What they are saying is you can’t use your phone if you are in a car period. If I am in the passenger seat, I won’t be able to use my phone b/c of this.

    If they want consistency that people can’t talk/text while driving, then make it the law in all states. Right now it is not the law in all states. This is going from not having the rule in all states (and by extension not enforcing said rule in all states) to no one in a car can talk on the phone period.

    I do not approve.

  62. cecilsaxon says:

    Save us Uncle Sugar, you are our only hope!

  63. Aaron Anderson says:

    All these retarded texting and driving laws do is make people hold their phones lower in their lap while they drive so NONE of the road is in their vision instead of part of it, when they would hold the phone up in plain sight.

    I’m glad I live in a police state. I’m really tired of things right now. TSA, The press, internet sites being seized, disabling my phone while it’s moving.

  64. ElizabethD says:

    Leave my hands-free Bluetooth alone!

  65. sonnetfm says:

    You’d think from the comments, there had never been a time without cell phones.
    No cell use in a car =/= the end of the world.

  66. Anri says:

    According to the article, this could be something based in the cell phone tower itself. That is a bad idea. I’m an EMT and I frequently need to call dispatch & hospitals, and my patients sometimes need to make phone calls as well. Less urgently, ~20% of my working day is spent riding as a passenger while my partner drives us to a scene. Am I going to be unable to text during those times?

  67. islandgirl says:

    But what if you’re a passenger?

  68. Rocket80 says:

    My god get out of my way government. Libertarianism is becoming more attractive to me every day.

  69. BayardMozie says:

    This won’t get anywhere. People would rather risk death by distracted driving, than lose their ability to have a phone available when driving, even if it’s just for emergencies (say, like when a crash occurs due to distracted driving).

  70. Kingeryck says:

    What about passengers?

  71. Levk says:

    hmmm… this will end bad just like all safety measures

  72. EverCynicalTHX says:

    I’m all for it assuming the technology to disable at speed works.

  73. VicMatson says:

    Loony idea. Maybe we need another U.S. Department of Transportation.

  74. SilverBlade2k says:

    I saw this happening long ago. Existing laws like making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving are unenforceable, and even if one is caught on the phone, the ‘fine’ for using the phone isn’t enough of a deterrence.

    If you’re going to blame someone, don’t blame the government, blame the people who skirt the laws and take advantage of the fact that they are unenforceable in the first place, which pushes the government to do something.

  75. empkae says:

    That’s more deaths per year than the 9-11 attacks! Bring on the storm troopers!

  76. Benanov says:

    Since I have an unlocked cell phone and have complete control over the software, they’re going to have to jam it or regulate that my phone will not work anymore (probably at the cell tower, not that the towers don’t have other things to do.)

    911 calls would still work – heck, even unactivated cell phones and phones w/o a SIM will allow you to dial 911. No reason to deny 911 calls from a moving vehicle.

  77. Dillenger69 says:

    Two words can bypass this: old phone

  78. OolonColluphid says:

    This is a dead end. Companies are pouring money into systems that require cellular data in the car. Google Navigation on Android phones needs data to work. Ford is implementing their Sync system to stream internet radio and more. Once special interests take note of this, it won’t happen. For once, I’ll agree with them.

    I don’t care if I can’t place calls in the car, even if I’m a passenger. But I’ll be damned if I can stand another road trip with no data connection.

  79. wadexyz says:

    What?

  80. Hi_Hello says:

    i remember way way back that they were designing cars where you need both hand to operate the car. If both hands are not on after a certain time, it will cut power/fuel until the hands are return…. would’ve been nice if they actually got that working right.

  81. ned4spd8874 says:

    Stupid. What about the GPS that’s on my phone? What about as zig said, I am in an emergency situation? I’ve called 911 many times while driving because I’ve seen a drunk driver or even a car on fire!

  82. Theslapshotkid says:

    Maybe this doesn’t make to much sense, but why does the government care if someone dies while texting? I mean, does it really matter? it’s there own fault, not the governments. It’s not like hackers wont’s get a blocker for what ever software they come up with, and I wonder if they realize people hide phones and look down while texting now, this causes them to look away form the road. Maybe the government is causing these deaths. Could someone pleases explain why the Government cares so much?

  83. pittstonjoma says:

    Hell no. I hope this doesn’t happen.

  84. physics2010 says:

    This is typical American govt. Let’s disable phones while moving at speed to prevent this problem. By the way all of your passengers can no longer use their devices. No you can’t use your phone while on the bus. No you can’t use the phone while you are on the train. This is an example of idiocy, just like car rental places not allowing you to disable the safety systems on GPSs so that your PASSENGER can type in an address.

    Rather than researching this CF, we could
    1. Continue working on cars that drive themselves
    2. Expand on systems like SYNC that connect the phone into the car so that at the very minimum they are hands free. TXT messages can be read, replys could be a short voice mms. (thinking about other things while driving is still dangerous, but at least your eyes and hands are where they are supposed to be.
    3. Expanding on item #2 phones are taking on more and more tasks. Perhaps more advanced things other than payment devices they could also be used as keys to your car. Rather than borrowing keys you just authorize a person’s phone to start your car for a period of time (patent pending).

    Improve, don’t restrict.

  85. reckoner23 says:

    And then we wouldnt be able to use gps in our phones. Along with several other useful features. This is stupid.

  86. Corinthos says:

    This sounds like too much for them to try to figure out. So doees it disable everything with the phone like GPS. Guess all the people riding in the car don’t get to talk either. So what if the signal it puts out is a little too strong will I drop calls everytime someone who drives too fast past me.

    I really doubt this will happen.

  87. Horselady says:

    I am all for this………

    If you want to kill yourself–that’s one thing.
    It is not fair to put other innocent drivers in danger.

  88. u1itn0w2day says:

    This is a sticky problem. You don’t want big brother in your business telling when and where to do what ever on the other hand you need to do something to protect you from ignorant drivers. For now I’ll just assume a distracted driver is just another obstacle in you must deal with out in public.

    Life in public is sorta like becoming a video game where you have to deal with all the threats they throw at you. Instead of fire breathing monsters and the pit of death you have things like distracted drivers and terrorists. Instead of bonus points you get to live.

  89. Destra says:

    What if a passenger wants to talk on their cell? I’m ok with making texting and talking on a phone while driving illegal, but preventing it in this way blocks too many other peoples’ rights.

    Also, seat belt laws for adults suck. Kinda related.

  90. merc78 says:

    Nothing will stop people from talking and driving, it’s an addiction. If I could get $50 every time I see this happening I could live very comfortably.

  91. MW says:

    Hopefully this won’t end up actually happening. Not all states have laws against driving with cell phones, and no states that I know of have any laws prohibiting the passengers from talking on a cell phone.

    It would be a pain in the butt for road trips. Usually in my family the passenger of one car calls the passenger of the other and we pull off the road together (whether for food or to sleep). If we couldn’t call we’d have to make sure to either obsessively stick right on each others’ tails the whole two day drive, or just hope that whoever didn’t stop realized that the other car did stop in time to turn around and come back. (And I sure wouldn’t have been able to tell the other car when we had to pull off for a flat tire and discovered my jack was missing).

    Not to mention there are emergency situations where someone needs to be called and they happen to be driving. When my brother fractured his arm a couple weeks ago the only person who had their phone on them was my mom, who was in a moving car at the time. When my mom’s head was caved in my dad had just started on a roadtrip; unless we had the magic to call him right as he stopped for gas we would have ended up not getting ahold of him until 14 hours later, only to tell him that he had to turn back right that second.

    Admittedly those are anecdotal and specific, but if I can think of two instances that happened within the past month, I’m sure other people could easily think of similar ones. I refuse to look at texts or dial when I’m driving, but answering the phone takes away a lot less of my attention than trying to find a radio station does.

  92. Plasmafox says:

    They just passed a law in my state making a seperate offense for texting while driving.

    *Distracted driving is already illegal.*

    The feds need to stop making worthless laws like this.

  93. TheWraithL98 says:

    what about hands free? what about streaming audio over 3g?

  94. zeiman says:

    No need to spend the millions to develop this technology. A simple end the prevelence of driving while talking/texting on mobile phone would be to enforce the same penalties as one receives for DUI. People will be much less likely to use their mobile phone while driving, if they know they could be forced to take a bus for the next 6 months. Also, this could be a huge revenue boosts for states will budget issues, or even better would be to use the fees to improves the roads and bridges.

  95. NickRayko says:

    Someday, maybe we’ll be able to block the stupid from driving entirely.

    /hopeful

  96. Keter says:

    Simple answer: if a cop sees you talking on the phone while driving, he can yank your license and your phone and impound your vehicle on the spot – the last use of the phone you get is to call someone to pick your butt up off the side of the road. To get any of it back, you have to go talk to a judge.

    That will stop it.

  97. Rena says:

    K, and what if someone needs to call me while I’m driving? I can easily answer the phone and pull over as soon as possible, but only if it rings.

  98. Cyfun says:

    How in the hell would this device work???

  99. Road Warrior Pat says:

    Wow, is this a bad idea. I do think that something needs to be done about the idiots who hold their phone up and jabber into it, not paying any attention to the cars around them, or the other idiots who text while driving. But this isn’t it. The cell phone is not just a toy. It has become an emergency communication device in many parts of the country. Not everyone lives in cities, or even near highways that have frequent patrols looking out for travelers in distress. Anyone who has ever gotten a flat tire out in the middle of nowhere, and had to wait hours after calling a tow truck service before they even see another vehicle, understands this. All of the people crying out about not being able to access 911 services have a very good point.

    Obviously, blocking all phone reception in a moving vehicle is ridiculous. Not only does it annoy passengers, but it would have a serious impact on business. Many people consider their cars mobile offices, and do quite a bit of business on the phone. Most of those people use hands-free options. It’s no more or less dangerous than talking to a passenger IN THE CAR.

    Lastly, I make several road trips a year, both for business and pleasure, that range anywhere from 200-2000 miles. The secret to driving so far is to keep yourself engaged while you are driving so that you don’t drift off. When the music gets boring, I start making calls. I have a blue tooth headset, and my new phone takes voice commands. I don’t even need to dial. With technology evolving in this way, why stifle it? They can’t stop us from speaking in our private vehicles. I see no difference in holding a conversation with someone via a piece clipped to my ear or a friend sitting next to me along for the ride.

    This policy is like taking a hammer and smashing a problem that needs a torx driver. This is not the time to institute unreasonable requirements. Maybe someone can write software to allow the traffic cameras to recognize a phone being held up to a head on the driver’s side, and to auto issue a ticket if the license plate is visible. The photo and phone records could easily be used to contest calls for emergency situations.

  100. FenrirIII says:

    Absolutely. You’re distracted while on the cellphone and people are already too crazy as it is.