A district attorney in Long Island is trying to gain support for a plan that would punish those who are caught texting while driving by installing software to shutdown the offenders phones. The DA’s plan would also involve using hardware to be used like a breathalyzer and would shut down gadgets when driving. Other plans include having tech-enabled ignition locks that can be installed on offenders cars.
“Like ignition interlock devices, transdermal alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets, and personal breath testing instruments, DA Rice believes that available technologies must be employed in criminal sentences to change behavior and save lives. The cost of each of these devices would be borne by the offender,” – Ars Technica
At the moment, the DA has not told anyone what apps or hardware would be used for these punishments.
In fact, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice already wrote to Google, Apple, Microsoft and even Blackberry, asking them to incorporate third-party apps that help prohibit distracted driving to their devices. The idea is for their phones to come with “kill switches” out of the box, as texting while driving has been a serious issue for the past years. – Engadget
The DA is likely responding to a recent incident in which a 20-year-old was on Facebook while driving and rear-ended a car at 85 mph, killing the person in the car that got hit. The 20-year-old motorist is being charged with negligent homicide.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that about 20 percent of motorists text or send e-mail while driving. At the moment, 44 states ban text messaging for drivers and at least 12 states bar drivers from using mobile phones at all.