Drivers' in-vehicle screen use might get sparser
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
DETROIT — The federal government is asking automakers to put stronger limits on drivers' interaction with in-vehicle touch screens to curb distracted driving.
Traffic safety regulators announced guidelines on Tuesday that would restrict the amount of time that it takes to perform simple and complex functions on a vehicle's entertainment and navigation systems.
Regulators also want to ban manual text entry and display of websites, social media, books and other text distractions while the vehicle is moving.
“Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible. It can have devastating consequences,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who cited the guidelines along with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland.
LaHood and Strickland told reporters on a conference call that NHTSA has determined that more than 3,000 people in 2011 were killed in crashes that involved distracted driving and that more than 387,000 were injured.
The guidelines are voluntary for automakers and will be phased in over three years.
Strickland said NHTSA has had success with voluntary guidelines and would consider giving automakers incentives to comply.
Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety and a frequent NHTSA and auto industry critic, said the guidelines will do little to halt distracted driving.
“We've tried voluntary. Voluntary doesn't work,” he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.