A Long Island district country attorney wants drivers caught texting (or just using their phones, in general) behind the wheel to understand the gravity of what they've done. So, she's proposed a five-point plan that includes installing auto-shutdown software on offenders' phones and the use of hardware like breathalyzers that can disable gadgets when they start driving. In fact, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice already wrote to Google, Apple, Microsoft and even Blackberry, asking them to incorporate third-party apps that help prohibit distracted driving to their devices. The idea is for their phones to come with "kill switches" out of the box, as texting while driving has been a serious issue for the past years. Also, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a phone-addicted driver's just as dangerous as someone who's had four alcoholic drinks.
Other than that, Rice has talked to the sentencing court to recommend technologies like ignition locks that can be installed on offenders' cars. She hasn't decided on the exact apps and hardware to use just yet, but her people are apparently looking at possible candidates at the moment in the event that her proposal's enacted. Needless to say, if you live on Long Island, you may want to start weaning yourself off browsing Facebook and messaging friends while you drive.
Update (09/10/14): A Long Island spokesperson reached out and told us that if ever the government adopts Rice's plan, it'll only affect Nassau County residents, "but not [those in] Suffolk County (the geographically larger, but less densely populated of Long Island's two counties)."
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