Is Mandatory Cell Phone Disabling Technology in New Cars a Good Idea in Georgia?


May 12, 2011

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver inattention is the cause of almost eighty percent of all traffic crashes, and mobile phone use is the most common distraction of all.

People who are talking or texting on a cell phone while driving cause 28 percent of all motor vehicle crashes according to the National Safety Council. This distracting activity can increase the risk of a crash by 8 to 23 times. More than 5,500 people were killed in 2009 and 500,000 were injured at the hands of distracted drivers. It is simply becoming clearer that talking on a cell phone while driving is not safe, and it is a distraction that takes lives.

Distracted driving has become such a significant problem that federal officials are now talking about creating technology that will disable the use of cell phones in cars. About two-thirds of Americans indicate that they are in favor of a national ban on cell phone use while driving, but whether or not they support government-issued mobile phone scramblers or other disabling devices remains to be seen.

Some arguments that are being advocated in opposition to cell phone scramblers include:

  • Passengers in the car can not use their cell phones.
  • Cell phones could not be used even in the event of emergencies.
  • Pedestrians on the side of the road would not be able to use their cell phones because the signal would scramble their cell phone reception as cars drive by.
  • This equipment in cars will make them more expensive.
  • People will hold onto cars longer.
  • The program will create added expense including government controlled inspections of these devices.

While these are interesting arguments, they all tend to focus only on how these devices may inconvenience drivers. The question is whether the public is willing to balance vehicle safety and accident reduction against these issues of personal convenience. While many people acknowledge the danger of cell phone use in vehicles as an abstract concept, they may not be as receptive to mandatory legislation that disables cell phones in vehicles.

Drivers can deactivate current cell phone scrambling technology. Some argue that drivers will simply disable such safety measures unless there is a change in attitude. However, stricter drunk driving penalties and more active enforcement has been effective in reducing the number of drunk driving accidents so it is reasonable to assume that drivers might not flaunt the law and disable cell phone scrambling technology. However, many people feel quite a bit stronger about drunk drivers than distracted drivers.

As part of its ongoing efforts to prevent distracted driving injuries or fatalities in Georgia, Montlick & Associates has an extensive public service campaign designed to educate and remind people about the dangers of texting while driving. Our public service campaign includes television messages, a 2 minute news segment presented by our Family Safety Advocate, downloadable materials, and billboards to help remind people of the dangers of distracted driving. To learn more about our efforts, Click Here.

If you or someone you love is the victim of a distracted driver, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you as we have thousands of families throughout Georgia. Our auto accident attorneys in Georgia are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.