A cell phone that refuses to operate while a motor vehicle is in operation could be the answer to the fight against distracted driving, according to a state lawmaker of Rhode Island in the United States. Rep Charlene Lima, D-Cranston, wants the device, which is available from several manufacturers, to be installed in the vehicles of anyone who has been caught using their cell phones while driving. It involves the installation of software on the cell phone that can detect when an engine is in use and will then refuse to make calls or allow texting until the engine has been switched off. A House Committee is set to review the proposal tomorrow. If it were to pass the legislation, it would be the first state in the whole of the US to implement such a law.
“Texting while driving is such a dangerous thing to do,” says Lima. “This would make sure a person who has been found guilty of doing this won’t do it again.” Lima notes that the idea is no different to the technology that prevents people who have been convicted of drink driving from using their vehicles if they have again been drinking.
“We have a number of people at the company that have teenage drivers at home and it made them want to look into this,” says Doug Fallon, a project manager at Taser International, one of the companies that manufactures the devices. “Traffic collisions are the number one killer of teens. Cell phones are a big problem. This takes the temptation away. “