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CEA Responds To NTSB Recommendation

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

“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.”