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Is a killswitch the answer to in-car phone use?

By Kyle Lindsay
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 13:33

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Scenes like this are becoming a regular occurance

Drastic measures needed to halt tide of mobile phone-related accidents

An automatic ‘killswitch’ for mobile phones could be the answer to the menace of drivers who text and phone at the wheel – that’s the opinion of a leading car leasing company who say the ban on in-car phone use does not stop many drivers from this dangerous activity.

According to Flexed.co.uk, mobile phones and tablets are to blame for a growing number of road accidents and the deaths and injuries that occur as a result.

“While we welcome police moves to check the mobile phones of every driver involved in an incident,” Flexed.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall says, “It’s not outside the realms of current technology to prevent drivers from accessing their phone functions while at the wheel.”

In the UK Over 150,000 people are convicted of phoning and driving every year and in the US its closer to 3 million, with one study suggesting that it’s become a habit for 50% of young drivers. Increasing numbers are also surfing the net and posting to social media from the driver’s seat.

“These are absolutely horrific figures,” Hall says, “And the numbers convicted are just the tip of the iceberg – you just have to stand at any road junction to see vehicle after vehicle with drivers glued to their phones.”

UK Drivers can currently be fined £100 and given three penalty points if caught using their phone at the wheel, with the government is considering doubling the points penalty to six. Over 10,000 UK drivers caught in 2012 opted to take a road safety course

If they can’t let go of the phone, Flexed.co.uk says, existing technology should be used to make the device useless inside a moving vehicle: “Sat nav apps know when you’re driving. They should also be able to deactivate phone, text and internet functions,” Hall says.

EDITOR’S COMMENT – the idea seems almost Orwellian and would prove massively unpopular and unfeasable. Despite this, drastic action does need to be taken. What are your solutions to solve this issue? Let us know in the comments below.

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