Federal agency wants apps blocked for drivers

Distracted driving is getting attention on the national level.

For the first time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking a stance on mobile devices.

The NHTSA issued voluntary guidelines asking that phone manufacturers and app developers add a driver mode to modify or block certain apps to keep a driver's attention on the road.

"I agree 100 percent, just for the safety of individuals, and we have little ones," said driver Octavia Poole.

"I'm all for it. I have two kids and I want to be as safe as possible, especially with my two kids in the car," said driver Mike Oliver.

In the first half of 2016, highway deaths increased over 10 percent according to the NHTSA. While there are more drivers and more miles being driven, distracted driving crashes also are increasing, especially in Florida.

A driver mode would block any video or distracting graphics; eliminate scrolling text and prohibit keypad use for emails and texting. Social media would be blocked, according to the guidelines.

The agency cannot force tech companies to comply with its recommendations, but in the past companies have followed them.

 

(© 2016 WTSP)


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