Jan. 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Distracted Driving Is a Public Safety Concern | Commentary

I also discussed with summit participants industrys civic responsibility to save lives from distracted driving, and implored them to act boldly and act now. As an example, parents could be given tools to limit distractions for their teenage drivers so their son or daughter cant talk on the phone, text or update social networking sites while driving. Weve also heard from plenty of experienced drivers who want the same ability to limit their own smartphones functionality while theyre behind the wheel. And many employers are seeking ways to prohibit their employees from texting or talking while driving company cars.

Mobile device-makers, software developers, automakers and wireless carriers could and should implement widely available, accessible and seamless solutions that prevent distractions from our smartphones. Its no secret that I believe companies must fight the urge to feed into consumers need for connectivity, without taking into account the safety implications. We all know the car is a unique environment. Its not a park bench or a subway station. Thats why, for everyones safety, the drivers attention is needed on the road.

I have spent significant time working to prevent distracted driving. To me, this is a critical public safety issue that requires involvement from all sectors if we are to achieve an all-of-the-above solution. If car companies, smartphone manufacturers, wireless carriers and software developers have the tools to join in this solution and theyve said they do then I believe they should help focus drivers on the road ahead.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

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