Arlington, Va. - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) addressed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and its Recommendation H-11-47, which encourages the development of technology features that disable the functions of portable electronics devices within reach of the driver when a vehicle is in motion.
Michael Petricone, CEA government and regulatory affairs senior VP, said in a statement: "CEA is dedicated to promoting a safe driver experience and ensuring that a motorist's highest priority is attention to driving and safe control of the vehicle. As we note in our letter, the technology industry is rapidly developing many new innovations that will ensure a safer roadway experience, from collision avoidance systems to self-operating vehicles.
"We believe that policy approaches to distracted driving must be based in well-grounded science rather than on reflexive calls for bans or regulation. CEA strongly supports legislation banning the use of handheld devices for manual texting while driving, as well as laws that restrict mobile phone use for novice drivers or drivers operating under a graduated drivers' license.
"CEA must disagree with the NTSB's broad recommendation calling for a ban on the nonemergency use of portable electronics devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) by all drivers. There is no real-world evidence to support such a blanket prohibition unless one would also ban other potential distractions, such as eating, drinking, applying make-up and engaging with children while in the vehicle. CEA continues to believe that technology in automobiles, whether installed in the dashboard or used as a portable device, should be viewed holistically, and both safety-enhancing and potentially distracting elements should be considered.
"With regard to the specific recommendation made by the NTSB to CEA and CTIA - The Wireless Association, the private sector has aggressively responded to market demand with innovative products and applications that increase driver safety. Current and future technologies could never see the light of day under the NTSB's broad recommendations, which would inhibit the very innovation that promises safer roadways.
"CEA stands ready to partner with the NTSB and any other organization to advocate for safe driving policies that are based on real-world data, and that enable innovation and embrace personal responsibility."