Much of the emphasis of recent Federal and State ‘Distracted Driving’ legislation in the United States has been aimed directly at use of Cell Phones. Talking and texting when driving is undoubtedly a dangerous practice but the problem of Driver Distraction is far wider and can have many causes.
Many countries already have laws relating to ‘inattentive’ driving or driving without due car and attention which could relate to the general problem of driver distraction. Furthermore, specific regulations have been drawn up in Australia, Canada and the UK that relate to the use of computers and other video display devices whilst driving.
For example, Canadian law states:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway if the display screen of a television, computer or other device in the motor vehicle is visible to the driver”
and Australian Road Traffic rules say:
“A Television receiver or visual display unit must not be installed in a vehicle so any part of the
image on the screen is visible to the driver from the normal driving position”
Regulations such as this aim to address the wider problem of distraction being caused by use of a computer or entertainment technology in moving vehicles.
The growing mobilisation of the workforce and associated improvements in technology mean that the workforce is now able to stay in touch and be productive while ‘on the road’ – this capability presents new dangers due to the potential distraction caused by use of the technology.
Legislation aimed at use of computers or display devices recognises these dangers, and OH&S bodies are also targeting the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their workforce, including the vehicles that they use.
The situation can be complicated because certain groups may require access to software that is defined as legally allowable, such as Despatch Systems, Aids to Navigation and Reversing Cameras. Drivers of Emergency Responder vehicles may also have specific requirements. In addition, much of the current regulation specifically relates to ‘Driver Facing’ screens, which means that devices oriented away from the driver (i.e. facing towards a navigator/fellow employee) can be operated without restriction.
Blank-IT is designed to address all of these situations. Blank-IT will prevent access to the computer display (or restrict access to only legally allowed programs) when it detects that the vehicle is in motion. It accommodates ‘swing away’ type setups where the screen may be positioned facing the driver or away from the driver and adjusts functionality accordingly.
Blank-IT uses specially designed Motion Detection technology that does not rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, which can be unreliable in some environments.
Find out more about the Blank-IT Distracted Driving Solution