U.S. Government Considers Killing Cell Phones While Driving

James Mowery November 30 Mobile

Stupidity aside, the U.S. government has long been looking for ways to reduce the amount of accidents on the road. The latest of which has been to ban texting while driving. Many states are pushing for this to become law, and some have been successful. But now there is an even more extreme idea being tossed around in our government. This one involves blocking the use of cell phones entirely while driving. And yes, this is a serious possibility.

The U.S. Department of Transportation already sees this cell phone blocking technology as a reality.

“I think the technology is there,” said Raymond LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation. “And I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones.”

Paul Atchley, a researcher at the University of Kansas who is knowledgeable in this field, has estimated that 5,500 people died from driving while distracted, with over half a million people being injured. He also stated that this estimate is almost certainly low, as it only accounts for reported deaths and injuries.

What isn’t clear, however, is whether or not the Department of Transportation has the authority to force auto makers into installing technology that restricts the usage of mobile devices. It also creates problems. For example, what happens if emergency services need to be contacted while driving? Are people willing to accept the fact that a cell phone blocking technology might prohibit such a thing?

It’s a big mess. The deaths and injuries are sure to grow. But isn’t it the responsibility of the people to educate themselves about the risks over texting and talking on mobile devices while driving?

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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  • Anthony

    Yeah this is a bunch of crock. The Gov already has its hands into too many cookie jars. Like the author stated people should be aware of the dangers of talking, texting, facebooking and many other things while driving. What is next; are they going to ban passengers or children from vehicles as they too can be a distraction to the driver?

  • This is beyond stupid. Yes, people should pay attention to the road while driving. I’d prefer people not drive while texting, or smoking or farting or picking their nose, etc. However, I don’t want any more laws controlling our actions. What Secretary LaHood may not realize is we already have laws against reckless driving. Idiots like this guy see a tragedy and instantly decide more government control of our actions is the best response to a tragedy.

  • ChicagoJon

    “I don’t want any more laws controlling our actions” – no one does my friend. The problem is that there are already laws and people are not taking any notice – did you not read above? It’s not a single tragedy. Even the low estimates have over half a million people injured by distracted driving – and they are not just injuring themselves. Last year Illinois introduced a hands free law. I could walk out on the street right now and within 5 minutes see at least 10 people using their phones while driving. The fact of the matter is that it is the government’s job to protect it’s citizens and those who chose to ignore the laws already in place should be punished. If they continue to ignore the law then another solution has to be found.

  • If they are using technology to prevent drivers from using cell phones, what the passengers. There would be no way for the technology to tell if it was the driver or the passenger who is answering the phone. My husband often answers my phone while I’m driving. Yes, using cell phones while driving does cause problems. However, using cell phones in cars does allow for many useful things including reporting drunk drivers and calling people for directions. Blocking all usage in cars would be a big problem for me.

  • fuck that, your stupid cunt ass shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Women drivers are HORRIBLE and have no place on the road, women drivers with CELLPHONES are even worse. I pray this happens.

    • Julie

      What? Something must have happened to you as a child for you to disliking women the way you do. If you do your researce, men are more likely to get into a care accidents then women or more likely to die in a car accident. You are stating opinions not facts!!

  • How do you discriminate between a driver and a passenger? What about handsfree systems or Bluetooth? What about when I am using my phone to stream Pandora or radio?

    If we cant block cell phones in prisons I doubt we will ever block cell phones in cars.

  • mark

    I look forward to this. How many people have died already due to silly people talking and driving. Its worth blocking passengers in moving cars if that’s what it takes. Sorry but those calls are not worth my family’s lives. I can’t speak for the value of your life maybe the phone call is more important you decide. How hard is it to pull off the road and shut the car off if the call is that important.

  • Bob

    Active blocking is permitted in many parts of the world but the US is behind. I also think the FCC should allow all business owners the option of actively blocking on their premise.Employers movies retail checkouts and restaurants should have the option of whether to permit these devices being used in their space. Cell phone manners are atrocious in the US and people seem to think the world should go on hold while they gossip endlessly on their mobile phones. We really don’t need your foolishness in public any more. The ones with blueberry look like Borgs with their brains drilled and tapped.

  • Julie

    I feel many of you who feel this would be stupid are the ones who are texting while driving! Yeah it is sad that the government has to force us to stop using our cell phones while driving. There had been to many lives taken because people can put down their cell phones. If its going to my daughters or sons lives, I am ALL for it. Its not going to hurt anybody, its only going lto safe lives. Just like seatbelts the government regulated for those to be put in cars, because nobody wanted to wear them because they felt the government was controlling us. No they are trying to protect us, just the same. How about they make our men join the military?? Is that taking away your rights of freedom?? I dont understand all the fuss over not being able to use your cell phone while driving.. its really sad.

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