“Hey, you idiot! Put down the little texty whatsit gadget and drive your ding dang car!”, says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, more or less. Yesterday, LaHood called for tighter restrictions on gadgets in cars in order to prevent people from killing themselves and others in a horrible ball of fire because they had to update their Facebook status (“In car about to die! LOL!”).
The move could see restrictions on all communication, entertainment and navigation devices, from texting to entering addresses into GPS systems. Electronic warning systems such as forward-collision or lane departure alerts would be exempt.
LaHood wants manufacturers to make devices less complex, and limit device operation to one hand. Users shouldn't need to look away from the road for more than two seconds, and there should be limits on the amount of visual information presented to the driver, as well as on the number of manual inputs required.
Many actions should only be available to passengers, say the guidelines, and shouldn't even be visible to the driver. These include text messaging, internet and social media browsing, entering addresses into navigation systems and 10-digit phone dialing.