Sounds like the feds are getting more serious about the issue of using your mobile phone to text or talk while driving. Although 38 states have already passed laws that regulate the use of cell phones while behind the wheel -- part of their efforts to cut back on distracted driving -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has renewed his calls for a federal law to ban the practice. According to several articles covering a speech made by LaHood at a distracted driving summit in Texas, the transportation secretary believes a separate law is necessary for mobile phones because of the explosion in usage and the because it believes there were at least 3,000 fatal traffic accidents in 2011 directly related to mobile phones. A Reuters article covering LaHood's speech quoted his rationale: "Everyone has a cell phone and too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving." I don't think any one of us would argue against the need for people to apply more common … [Read more...] about Should the feds ban mobile phone use while driving?
Mobile phone use in cars
Glympse has announced a partnership with BMW and MINI to integrate location-tracking technology into vehicles. The first "Connected" in-car system that is able to track and share your location online will be available on 30 different models across a product line equipped with either BMW Apps ready or MINI Connected. The idea behind the technology is to integrate mobile technology while we are on the move -- mobile phone use may be banned as a "distraction" in many countries, but for some reason, accessing the Web, having dashboard applications and being able to get online isn't such a problem legally. See also: Ford's Glympse tracks your location when driving The Glympse system combines location tracking technology and social sharing, which allows a driver to update friends, those within their social networks or colleagues on their location. This would be handy if you're stuck in traffic on the way to a business meeting, as long as you don't mind your driving habits being tracked and … [Read more...] about Glympse announces in-car location sharing partnership
Western Australia has introduced holiday double demerit point penalties for using a phone while driving. We know it's illegal, but where do you stand on a state-by-state breakdown of the law? A 2011 study of road accidents in New South Wales and Victoria found that only 0.9 per cent were attributed to using a mobile phone, but with more and more Australians using smartphones, this number could easily rise. In the United States, recent research from the Center for Disease Control found that driver distraction kills 9 people and injures a further 1060 people on American roads every day. Although driver distraction isn't just defined as mobile phone use (eating and the use of "in-vehicle technologies" such as navigation systems are also bundled into this category), it's still a sobering statistic. There are a number of public awareness campaigns across the country trying to call drivers up on their use of phones in the car, including the cheeky "Get Your Hand Off It" campaign from … [Read more...] about Get your hand off it: Australian law on phone use in the car
At the behest of a major wireless industry trade group and amid heightening concerns about potential health risks, many mobile phones will soon carry information about radiation levels. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) yesterday announced plans to require mobile phones to carry new information revealing the rate of radiation emitted by certain models on the sides of the containers the phones come in. "Voice-only devices are giving way to real heavy Internet-ready devices with a lot more guts that, at least theoretically, may not be that great to have right next to your head," said Bryan Prohm, a wireless industry analyst at market research firm Dataquest. The radiation information, which could be packaged with new handsets in as early as three to six months, is expected to show that cell phones are within acceptable radiation exposure ranges. All cell phones sold in the United States today have been certified to meet federal requirements for the quantity … [Read more...] about What risks do you face using your mobile phone?
LG Electronics is bringing digital TV to those on the go. The South Korean electronics giant earlier this month showed off its terrestrial digital media broadcast-receiving mobile phone. Digital media broadcasting is a way of capturing digital broadcasts while moving. LG Electronics will include the technology in upscale TV phones and in car TVs. The governments of both South Korea and Japan are trying to encourage local expertise in the field. The phone the company showed off can play broadcasts for two and a half hours continuously, LG Electronics said. Users can also make calls while watching broadcasts. The chip inside the phone was developed by LG Electronics and can process audio, video and broadcast reception all at the same time. The company did not release pricing information for the device. "The terrestrial DMB phone that we developed has superiority in capacity, function, size, and convenience in use," said Ahn Seung-Gweun, a vice president at LG Electronics. "We will get … [Read more...] about LG Electronics phone tunes in TV