MERA Driver Distraction Position Statement (hand-held mobile devices)
Driving comes first, so “Pocket or Dock It”
Concerns over hand-held mobile device use and the driver’s ability to focus on the act of driving, should be addressed through the use of a hands-free solution, such as a docking station in the vehicle, or through the use of hands-free communication technology, like Bluetooth. The ability for communication without hands-on interaction will help discourage distracted driving. Simply: “Pocket or Dock It”.
A hand-held mobile device should either be properly docked or out of the drivers site when operating the vehicle. We recommend a “Pocket or Dock It” approach which allows the driver to keep the device active providing important information and communication. The hand-held mobile device should only be accessed using connectivity methods that “dock” the device allowing interaction when driving through the vehicle’s central command area and or via a hands-free Bluetooth type connection. This method will seek to insure the driver is focused on the primary task of driving.
MERA is committed to driver safety through the proper use of products and technologies that make driver and passenger safety a priority. While technology can help support safety on the road, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to use proper judgment when operating the vehicle.
MERA shares concern about the possible misuse of hand-held mobile devices when driving, but simply banning this technology serves only to limit the benefits, and not resolve the primary issue, driver distraction.
There are many laws under review that seek to target the effects of distracted driving as whole. We feel these are a much better choice than laws that target individual objects. Laws concerning inattentive or careless driving are already in place in many states and municipalities. Proper enforcement of such laws is a more effective way to solve the problem of distracted driving.