[LINK] Mobile phone use set to be banned in vehicles

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun Feb 13 10:04:23 AEDT 2011

Kim Holburn wrote:
> ... I wonder if we should be thinking of banning pilots using radio in aeroplanes?

Pilots are starting to use a computer based interface to air traffic

Curiously, the AUSTRALIAN ROAD RULES "Use of mobile phones" (REG 300) 
excludes CB radios, text messages, video messages and email from the ban 
on phone calls while driving: 

> In Canberra the taxis all have a text based radio system ...

Police cars have a very complex assortment of radios, computers and
other gadgets. I tried out an Australian made prototype LAPD squad car
which replaced all the devices with a large touch screen in teh centre 

> On 2011/Feb/07, at 3:00 PM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
>>...  GPS systems are a distraction and should be banned ...

GPS is not as distracting as passengers giving directions. They should 
be banned. ;-)

While the research is not clear on this point, some indicate that 
conversations with passengers in cars are less impairing on the driver, 
as the passenger can see the traffic situation and so know when not to 
distract the driver. It may therefore be that a videophone showing the 
traffic, or a phone which detects the driver is busy and sends a 
synthetic voice or tone to say "driver busy" might help.

A simpler alternative I have suggested would be to place a "Push to 
Talk" button on the car steering wheel. As with a two way radio, this 
button would need to be held down while the driver was speaking on the 
telephone. This would have the advantage that the driver would be only 
able to hold the button down and speak, when the car was proceeding in a 
uniform heading. As soon as they moved their hands on the wheel to 
change direction, the button would be released. This should have the 
effect of training the driver to not talk when manoeuvring: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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