Australian Cars May Come with Device to Block Mobile Phone Signals

teenager looks at phone screen while behind the wheel of a car

Kars4Kids has been in the forefront of warning parents and children about the dangers of texting and driving. Now an Australian organization, Bicycle Network, has petitioned the Australian government, asking that every Australian car be fitted with a device that would block mobile phone signals. It’s a far-reaching request that would affect all personal devices, for instance iPads, preventing them from accessing mobile connections while inside a car.

The campaign comes after a recently released report suggesting that texting and selfies from inside of cars will be causing an increase in road deaths during the coming decade. According to the report, issued by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, the number of road fatalities in the Victoria region of Australia, will surge from 258 deaths in 2017 to 329 deaths in 2030. The predicted increase in fatalities is expected in spite of improvements and innovations that would make for safer roads and cars.

The reason for burgeoning road death rate is simple: mobile phones and other devices that lead to distracted driving.

Texting While Driving Infographic

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While texting while driving is a dire problem in Australia, with one newspaper reporting over 80 drivers caught each day using their phones while driving. There have been government-sponsored advertisements targeting teenage drivers, begging them to resist the urge to glance at their phones while driving. But the death rate continues to spiral.

If Bicycle Network had its way, drivers would have no way to use their phones while inside a car. Some might think the plan goes overboard; that it’s too much like Big Brother. That mobile phone companies and internet providers will fight too hard to make the concept viable. But if even one teenager were saved as a result of blocking internet signals in a car, would any parent put up any serious resistance to this plan?

Would any parent mind the inconvenience of pulling over and getting out of a car, even in inclement weather, to make a phone call, knowing this technology that causes such momentary inconvenience might save the life of their child?

And shouldn’t we be looking into this technology here in the United States?




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