Police use of in-vehicle laptops and the related driver distraction has been featured a number of times in this blog.

A recent item on the Today.com website puts this issue in the spotlight again, with increasing evidence of the number of distraction-related accidents where police use of an in-vehicle computer is involved.

It is interesting that the distracted driving issue is now making it into mainstream media such as the Today show. It really starts to bring the problem forward and centre where it should be.

Bryan Vila, a professor at Washington State University in Spokane, is one of the world’s leading experts on distracted police driving. He put Today’s reporter behind the wheel in the driving simulator he uses to monitor officers’ eye movement and reaction time.

Once use of an on-board computer was added to the simulation, the reporter ran off the road. Review showed that his eyes were off the road, looking at the computer screen, for almost four seconds. “That’s enough to cause a hell of an accident,” Vila said.

Some police departments across the country are trying to address the issue in fairly basic ways. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, police officers’ in-car computer won’t allow them to keep typing after going 10 to 15 miles per hour. And in Fort Worth, Texas, officers aren’t allowed to use their computers at all while driving, unless it’s an emergency.

More sophisticated solutions are required however, to allow Police Officers to perform their duties effectively without endangering the lives of other road users.

“We believe that with Blank-it, the solution is already there. Blank-it makes it possible to greatly reduce the interaction with an on-board computer whilst leaving enough there to make it a usable tool for the officer. Blank-it can disable touch-screens or keyboards, keeping audible components active and restricting what is visible when the vehicle is moving  – addressing the major components of driver distraction without reducing officer efficiency.”

Blank-it does all of this from a rugged USB Multi-motion sensor fob that can easily be retro fitted to an existing fleet or incorporated into new installs. The easy to install and configure Blank-it software allows the officer to perform their job but keep their eyes on the road.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).



See original article here: http://www.today.com/news/distracted-police-driving-researchers-seek-solution-1D80406085