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Department of Transportation Proposes Their Distracted Driving Guidlines For Automakers

William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
February 17, 2012

Distracted Driving is a topic that’s on everybody's minds, and with good reason. Newer vehicles are packed with more technology; ranging from touchscreen infotainment systems options to voice-controlled applications to smartphone integration.

It comes as no surprise that the U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, the man who is leading the Distracted Driving cause has announced a new set of proposed guidelines for automakers to limit the use of in-car tech solutions that are "not directly relevant to safely operating the vehicle, or cause undue distraction by engaging the driver's eyes or hands for more than a very limited duration while driving."

“Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America’s roadways—that’s why I’ve made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel. These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages.” LaHood said in a statement.

Phase 1 of the three-phase process of recommendations would include:
  • Reducing the time it takes to operate devices
  • Limit operation of devices to one hand only
  • Limit the time eyes spend away from the road to two seconds or less
  • Limit unnecessary visual information from the driver’s view
  • Limit the number of inputs needed to operate devices

The recommendations would also block devices such as navigation units from having addresses put into them while the car is moving, as well as limit the operation of:
  • Text messaging
  • Internet browsing
  • Social media use
  • 10-digit phone dialing
  • Display more than 30 characters of text unrelated to driving

NHTSA will hold public hearings on the guidelines in March at Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Press Release is on Page 2


While I think some of these limitations are good, I feel the bulk of this is Big Brother telling you what you can do and when.

I agree that a driver should NOT be browsing the web or social media or any other visual/manual input, but the ability to enter an address into nav via voice input should be allowed as well as voice operation of other devices. I do not see this as distracting to the driver.

I do agree that things should always be less complicated.

Will be interesting to see what the input from the public will be on this. Also WHY CHICAGO? I get LA and DC, but I would think they could and should get input from say the Tech Valley of California, Seattle, Dallas, Miami and NY as well as Chicago.
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dem brows need da wax
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I look at this as very dependant on one's skills. If you have the skills to operate these devices and drive safely, do so... but risk police intervention if it works out that you can't maintain a lane, swerve, forget to signal, etc. We already have laws on the books in nearly every state to write tickets for these infractions. If you cannot handle the distraction, pull over at your earliest convenience and adjust your radio station, use your cell phone, play Angry Birds, etc. Everyone shouldn't be penalized and dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.
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Too many stupid people driving.....while I'm not a fan of taking away rights-this is SORELY need.

It means more to you when you have a family in the car you want to protect......
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i agree with the 1st phase. because it would make things easier. faster media response is always nice and being able to do it with 1 hand is also nice. the next part im iffy on. while i dont think its a good idea to text and drive and driving while talking on the phone is against the law around here. but telling car makers to block these items in the car is stupid. idk maybe its for the better, but at the same time you still have stupid people on the streets therefore how big of a difference will this make. so people cant make a call useing their NAV system anymore.... whats to stop them from useing their real phone to Text, call, and surf the web. its these types of things i wish the government would think through before they even try.
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instead of making more minutiae o flaws, just tell states to make their driving test harder... and set those guide lines. ugh.
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It means more to you when you have a family in the car you want to protect......

The roads are inherently not safe, regardless of the laws in place. If you love your family, don't let them leave your house... er, bunker. And if they ABSOLUTELY need to leave the house, only in an Armored Semi.
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