COMMUTE

Distracted driving laws: Federal guidelines considered to prevent distractions behind the wheel

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

Automakers met with federal officials Monday to discuss how to block distractions from behind the wheel of a car.

The Department of Transportation is considering guidelines for in-car technology that would require automakers to block drivers from typing addresses into navigation systems or browsing the Web.

"We need to take steps to prevent them from doing something that would take their mind and their eyes and their hands off the task," said Tom Bologa of BMW of North America.

Currently, most big automakers design dashboard tasks to require no more than 10 two-second glances. The federal proposal would cut that to six two-second glances and lock out navigation input.

"If something bad does happen, you can't really blame the GPS because you were messing with it; it's your own fault," said driver Gregory Edge.

Automakers from BMW, Mercedes, Nissan and General Motors attended Monday's meeting.

Auto industry insiders argue that some drivers will still turn their mobile devices on if they can't get information from their cars or get separate GPS devices that can be used freely while driving.

"It's no different than eating while you're in your car, or yelling at your kids while you're in your car, or grabbing a soda. There's no difference. You have to be a responsible driver," said driver Marge Conner.

 

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus