Long Island Officials Propose Disabling Smartphones For People Caught Texting And Driving

Texting and driving continues to be an issue that the government is trying to discourage people from practicing. In Long Island, drivers could be mandated to have their mobile phones temporarily disabled when they head back onto the road. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Price is proposing that either hardware or software be used to disable mobile phones while behind the wheel.

“Research suggests that driving while texting can be as dangerous as driving while drunk, and even more pervasive, especially among young people,” Said DA Rice. “It’s well established that the practice robs people of their lives and futures. Tackling this problem will require a concerted effort by numerous sectors of commerce and government.”

DA Rice went on to say that, in order to save lives, technologies equivalent to alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets and personal breath testing instruments “must be employed in criminal sentences to change behavior and save lives.”

Image Source: Flickr (cwazniak)

However, she hasn’t chosen any technology or software to help make this possible yet as Rice explained, “Hardware and software solutions that block texting during driving are currently produced by various manufacturers and software developers, and are constantly under development. The DA’s office does not endorse any particular company and is in the process of reviewing specific solutions based on their features and services. Critical features include security measures to make the solutions tamper-proof, and data integrity measures to ensure accurate reporting to courts, law enforcement, parents, and guardians.”

Whether such a proposal will pass or be rejected is yet to be seen. But given that 44 states have banned text messaging while driving, with New Mexico being the latest state to ban it, this might be the next step in the government’s drive to stop this practice altogether.