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Feds Look at Technology to Disable Your Cell Phone in Your Car


"I think it will be done."

It's been no secret that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood would stop all drivers from talking on cell phones if he could. And now we have a clearer picture of what he may have in mind. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday, LaHood started talking technology:

“There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that,” said LaHood on MSNBC. LaHood said the cellphone scramblers were one way, and also stressed the importance of “personal responsibility.”

The hosts of Morning Joe pushed the secretary about the possibility of requiring scrambling technology installed in vehicles.

“I think it will be done,” said LaHood. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.”

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey has a pretty good list of problems with this approach:

This is frightfully dense in a number of different ways.  Let’s count them up, shall we?

  • The scrambler would also affect the passengers in a car that want to use their cell phones, which doesn’t do anything to improve public safety.
  • The presence of multitudinous scramblers in autos driving in a city will likely render cell phones used by pedestrians useless as well, or at least unreliable.
  • Adding more required equipment to cars will make them more expensive, and increase the value of used cars without the scramblers.
  • People who want to make calls from their cars or allow their passengers to do so will likely hold onto current vehicles longer.
  • Anything installed in a car can be disabled by the owner, especially electronics.  Will car owners have to submit to random searches, or annual verification of scrambler functionality?  Will the federal government make that yet another unfunded mandate on the states?

  • People also get distracted by eating, reading printed material, and applying make-up.  Shall we ban drive-through restaurants, newspapers, and cosmetics, too?

You'll want to read the rest of Ed's analysis -- click here.

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