By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) responded to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) update of its “Most Wanted List, which calls for a ban of portable electronic devices “that do not directly support the task at hand” in vehicles, planes, trains and vessels.
Michael Petricone, CEA government and regulatory affairs senior VP, said in a statement: “CEA shares the NTSB’s desire to increase automotive safety and help save lives by reducing distracted driving. That is why we support common-sense measures like state legislation banning texting while driving and placing strict limits on the use of electronics by novice drivers.
“Unfortunately, in today’s update to its ‘Most Wanted List,’ the NTSB misses the mark on the use of portable electronics in the vehicle. By calling for an ‘abstinence-only’ approach, the NTSB ignores established realities of human behavior, as well as the fact that in-vehicle technology — when used correctly — can make for vastly safer roadways.
“Rather than calling for broad regulations or outright bans, policymakers should encourage the use of the many innovative driver safety technologies coming on to the marketplace. Indeed, earlier this year, CEA forwarded the NTSB a list of third-party applications that promote safe use of portable technologies in the automobile. We look forward to working with the NTSB to enhance safety without inadvertently prohibiting or discouraging the use of innovative in-vehicle technologies.”
Under its “What Can Be Done” section of the “Most Wanted List,” the NTSB said: “States and regulators can set the proper tone by banning the nonessential use of such devices in transportation. Companies should develop and vigorously enforce policies to eliminate distractions. Manufacturers can assist by developing technology that disables the devices when in reach of operators. Accident investigators at the federal, state, and local levels should also incorporate in their protocols a system for checking whether the nonessential use of portable electronic devices led to accidents; such information is essential to better identify safety issues and where to dedicate resources to stop this dangerous behavior.”
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