New technology would disable phone above certain speeds

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Federal government officials are considering a proposal to disable cell phone calls for drivers through the use of blocking technology.

The proposal from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation would require software solutions from companies such as Zoomsafter, tXtBlocker and iZup, which disable certain phone features if you are moving above a certain speed.

Paul Atchley, a scientist at the University of Kansas who studies distracted driving, explains how it would work to KFWB’s Ken Jeffries.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says the move aims to reduce an estimated death toll of nearly 5,500 people who were killed by distracted driving last year, along with another half-a-million injuries.

Atchley says that while most Americans support strict drunk driving laws, they are less likely to embrace more aggressive legislation targeting cell phone use while driving.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. Amy says:

    What if I’m on a bus or train? I can’t use my cell? I’m hating America more and more every year.

  2. Caroline says:

    Just wonderful…then how would passengers make calls? This is ridiculous, and I can’t believe it made it into the media before someone realized this.

  3. john wayne says:

    Wow that’s great so does this mean I’ll receive a lower rate from my phone company or if that’s the case the govt should just pay my phone bill for me.

  4. Unsafe at any speed! says:

    Control, control, control. It’s not about safety, it’s just about control.

  5. Lori Deron says:

    WHY WHY WHY can’t they see a VERY natural and real way to prevent cell phone usage while a vehicle is in operation?? The Insurance industry has mandated everything else we do….obesity (not covered); cancer (not covered); smoker (not covered). WHY doesn’t the INSURANCE industry step in and say: if it is found that an accident was caused by distracted driving while on a cell phone OR OTHERWISE (eating, shaving, putting on makeup) then the person who was doing that IS NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE?

    WHY do we buy in to our Government constantly focusing on laws like this–limiting our freedoms, etc? This is not something that needs to be a law, taking our government’s eye off the big ball: jobs/economy. It needs to be mandated by the “higher powers.” Hit people where it hurts: the pocketbook. Easy solution – no laws need to be made

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