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The Department of Transportation Wants Cars to Disable Your Cell Phone While Driving

Text and Drive

Texting while driving is dangerous, and you shouldn’t do it. People still do it, and because of those people the Department of Transportation is recommending that auto makers install systems that will disable cell phones while the car is moving. That will stop texting and driving, but it will also stop texting while riding shotgun. This is overkill.

The guidelines by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were submitted this week, but they’re non-binding, meaning that car companies don’t have to comply. It’s not a law so much as it’s a series of polite suggestions. The suggested measures also wouldn’t disable phones completely, but it would disable manual text entry, web browsing, and video features, leaving you with only what bits you can control with your voice.

Even if companies adopt the guidelines, it will still be years before we see cars with built-in phone killers. Car companies plan out things like that years in advance on their vehicles, and this seems like the kind of thing they won’t do unless they’re forced to. I’m all for reasonable measures to stop people from texting and driving, but building cars that disable most of a phone’s features while driving crosses the line of what’s reasonable.

(NHTSA via The Verge, image via IntelFreePress)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.