Monday, December 27, 2010

A Technological Solution to Prevent Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is increasing and causing an increasing number of road accidents. Indeed, simply talking on a cell phone adds to the hazards of driving. Cell phone use by passengers in a car also distract the driver.

It seems to me that there would be a simple technological solutions to such problems.

  • How about a simple announcement as a car is started to turn off all cell phones.
  • Cell phones could be equipped with something like a RFID chip which would be read by the auto, and the auto could then broadcast on a special band that a cell phone was on in the car. That signal might be read by police vehicles, or better yet by click and ticket devices that would issue a ticket to the owner of a vehicle that was in motion with an operating cell phone on inside it.
  • Cell phones could be equipped to transmit a special, low power signal when in use for texting or voice. The signal would be picked up by sensors in cars, and the car could announce that the cell phone should not be used, give a signal that a cell phone was in use (say by flashing lights or broadcasting a special radio signal), and there could be click and ticket laws imposing fines on vehicle owners.
  • People convicted of using a cell phone in a car might be required to have sensors in their cars that would not allow the car to be operated with a cell phone on or in use.


John Daly said...

Incidentally, decades ago USAID funded a project to demonstrate the use of cameras to give speeding tickets (click and ticket) in Costa Rica, where at the time traffic accidents cost the country 3.5 percent of GDP per year. Having learned about the experience abroad with the technology, I encouraged my representative to the state legislation to introduce a bill to bring click and ticket to our state. The technological fix really does help in that case.

Unknown said...

Technology can be outpacing our human capability to absorb it's affects. I work in it consulting and can testify about that first hand. Bringing such intrusion into our daily lives can be difficult for people to accept.