DOT Calls for Ban on Social Networks

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is asking automakers to design devices that prevent a driver from using social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook while the vehicle is running. Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, in a nonbinding guidelines also called for disabling manual texting, Internet browsing, 10-digit phone dialing and the ability to enter addresses into a built-in navigation system for drivers; unless the vehicle was on park. However, the guidelines do not apply to electronic warning systems such as lane-departure or collision alerts.

LaHood stated that distracted driving was unsafe, irresponsible and that it could have devastating consequences. "Every single time a driver takes his or her focus off the road, the driver puts his or her life and the lives of others at risk." According to NHTSA, in 2010 there were 3,092 people or a 9.4 percent of road fatalities, were killed in crashes related to driver distraction.

This year, there will be a 29 percent increase in the number of new cars/ light trucks sold in North America that will be fitted with smartphone and embedded-connectivity units, according to QUBE.

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19980142

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