Updating this earlier entry about a proposed texting ban, the Obama Administration is now hoping to convince automakers to limit the technology in cars. According to this article on msn.com, the adminstration hopes that automakers "voluntarily" limit technologies that allow texting or cell phone calling while the car is in motion. The first vehicle technology that comes to mind is the Ford Sync technology. I'm certain that other car manufacturer's have similar technologies, but I wonder how willing any automaker would be to limit technology. Voice-activation for texting, Facebook updates and cell phone calls has been in more car commericals than I can count. Voluntary limitations on the technology likely won't come without some enticements.
The guidelines which were announds today by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, cover standard and optional systems in vehicles that are not directly relevant to safe driving or that cause "undue distraction" by engaging the driver's eys or hands for more than a brief moment. The problem is, where does a brief moment end and a "more than a brief" begin. This is a slippery slope. Will we no longer be able to scan radio stations or insert a compact disc? (If anyone even use's CD's anymore). What about temperature control? Or reaching for something in the glovebox? Will all of these be "voluntarily" limited somehow?
Altough I represent client's in drunk driving (DUI/OWI) cases and Reckless Driving cases, I am not in favor of distracted driving, impaired driving or drunk driving. I am merely wondering where the line will be drawn by the government?
Gregory A. Miller is a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Attorney and can be reached at (260) 833-7249.