DoT wants a cell phone kill switch

If the urge to use your cell phone while driving is stronger than your desire to follow the law, you are certainly not alone. 

As more accidents are attributed to talking and texting while driving, the Department of Transportation (DoT) is searching for a viable solution to truly stop drivers from using cell phones while on the road. 

Aside from the endless PSAs and tickets, the DoT is exploring not only new options, but new technology.

One of these options is the concept of completely disabling cell phone reception while in a vehicle.

Known as signal jamming, this technology is currently illegal in many parts of the world.

Currently, the United States allows federal agents and private individuals to engage in jamming only under certain circumstances.

Yet, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the DoT is indeed examining such an option. He said, “There’s a lot of technology out there that can disable phones and we’re looking at that.”

DoT spokesperson Olivia Alair went on to clarify that although the agency is analyzing such technology, it has “no intention” of requiring it as law at this point.

Of course, one foreseeable problem with a cell phone “kill switch” would be the inability to make an emergency call in case of accident.

Perhaps the technology would be better suited for public transportation to reduce the annoyance of having to listen to one person’s entire life story while talking on a cell, but also for security reasons. 

For example, in places like the Middle East, deadly bombs are often remotely detonated via cell phones. As such, the ability to disrupt the cellular detonation of a bomb on a public bus, crowded station or highway would indeed be beneficial for public safety.

However, the DoT is not looking into this technology for public reasons, but rather for private drivers to deter them from using a cell phone while driving. 

Still, once a viable model is developed, could this be used for other applications? 


The question is, how far would the government be willing take such a concept?

(Via The Hill)