U.S. Extends Deadline for Comment Period on Distracted Driving Laws

By Trevor Dorchies | April 25, 2012
At the request of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the United States government has decided to extend the comment period on distracted driving regulations that would affect what technology makes it into new vehicles. The deadline was originally set to expire today, but thanks to the extension automakers have until May 18, an extra 24 days, to go through all of the legal jargon. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers currently represents 12 automakers including Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler. The association asked for more time to prepare a response to the voluntary guidelines put forth by the government. These new rules call on automakers to keep away from including features that would distract a driver from the road in front of them. Features like punching in a number or text while in motion could see the end of the line if the government gets its way. Other features that may be extinct if this legislation passes includes internet browsing, 10-digit phone dialing, and the ability to enter an address while in motion. The new laws call would allow the driver to punch in an address only when the vehicle was in park, a practice some automakers have already adopted. This proposed legislation isn't without reason however as 9.4 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012 were caused by distracted driving according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. That's 3,092 people. Originally, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers had a 60-day comment period to discuss these new laws but now it will have just under another three weeks to get a response together.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)