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The Obama administration will convene a summit of experts to figure out what to do about the problem of texting while driving, a practice studies and a growing number of accidents show can be deadly. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will announce his decision to gather senior transportation officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives, members of Congress and academics who study distracted driving at a news conference Tuesday. The summit will take place next month. If it were up to him, he would ban texting while driving, LaHood said.
I can't believe texting while driving is so popular because it is so obviously reckless and dangerous, and it's not even necessary. There are so many apps for mobile phones out there that solve the texting while driving problem. For example, I use DriveSafe.ly (no, the "." is not a typo). It's a free app that automatically reads texts and/or emails out loud while I drive, and can automatically respond. Now I just put my phone in my cup holder when I get into my car, and don't have to worry about even touching my phone. Please people, use your heads. Don't text while you drive when there is a clear alternative.
The best solution to the use of cellphones while driving I have heard would would use gps to restrict their use while moving including disabling texting.
Personally, I would disable all outgoing except 911 calls while the phone was moving (including cutting off any calls as soon as movement was detected to eliminate dialing at a stop and then continuing use while moving.
I would consider allowing receiving calls with phones that had voice control. The caller would get a message that the called person was driving and that they could speak to them, but the driver's microphone was disabled until the cell phone stopped moving. This would cover the receipt of emergency or high priority messages (Jimmy, call home now or you are grounded for a week!; Ralph, we can't find your report and the boss is going ballistic.; Honey, better come to the hospital. My water broke. Mom is taking me to St. Joes.; you get the idea)
My blood pressure is much higher on the highways these days from having to watch cell phone users carefully. I can't count the number of times I have taken evasive action to avoid real or anticipated erratic driving by them. Since I can't tell in advance which is which, I am sure I act more often than necessary, but both contribute to anxiety pretty much the same. Headsets don't seem to do much to reduce the lane changes without looking, failure to notice the traffic ahead is stopped, erratic actions to make a turn or exit 'almost missed' (ever been told it is illegal to cross the gore for a really good reason?)
I am sure I will be accused of being a Luddite, but far better to be a live Luddite than having a phone 'to die for' and then dieing for it......
Or as in the case of a local driver last year, not dieing, but killing 6 of a family of 8 instead. And he got a whole 3 years in prison eligible for parole in 18 months. Can't imagine a conversation worth that price.