NHTSA Guidelines Jeopardize Continued Market-Driven Innovations to Enhance Driver Safety, Says CTA
The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcing extreme Phase II guidelines to seek regulation via "voluntary" standards for devices brought into cars including aftermarket, portable personal electronic devices and smartphone apps:
“Driving while distracted is unsafe and unacceptable – a driver’s highest priority must be maintaining safe control of the vehicle at all times. Tech companies have created driver-assist technologies and apps that reduce or eliminate distractions such as drowsiness, in-car adjustments or texting while driving. Popular Bluetooth solutions, driver-monitoring systems and do-not-disturb apps are helping initiate corrective actions when drivers lose focus. The technology industry has also made great strides in raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through initiatives such as ‘It Can Wait.’
“NHTSA’s approach to distracted driving is disturbing. Rather than focus on devices which could reduce drunk driving, they have chosen to exceed their actual authority and regulate almost every portable device. This regulatory overreach could thwart the innovative solutions and technologies that help drivers make safer decisions from ever coming to market. Further, NHTSA doesn’t have the authority to dictate the design of smartphone apps and other devices used in cars – its legal jurisdiction begins and ends with motor vehicle equipment. In this instance, NHTSA's regulatory premise is dangerously expansive, representing the worst of government overreach. Under their vision, they would have the influence to control the design of technology products down to the fitness tracker worn on a driver. Such a vast and extreme expansion of NHTSA's authority, if it were to happen, would have to be explicitly granted by Congress.
“This attempt by the outgoing administration to push out highly-questionable, de facto regulations and expand its regulatory reach flies in the face of Congress’ order not to issue any new actions before the new administration takes office. We encourage NHTSA to rethink its approach on this issue, work with innovators to bring technology solutions to drivers and focus on areas within its jurisdiction – bringing self-driving vehicles to market and eliminating the majority of roadway deaths.”
CTA supports common-sense measures to address distracted driving, such as state legislation that bans texting while driving and places strict limits on the use of electronics by novice drivers. More, we believe the shift in technology – including active collision avoidance and self-driving cars – is much more fruitful and important area for NHTSA focus.
About Consumer Technology Association:
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, is the trade association representing the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. The Consumer Technology Association also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.
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SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE. ©2015 Business Wire