Your phone has an ‘airplane mode’ to cut its signal while you’re flying. The British government is currently planning talks to set up a similar mode for anyone driving a car.
The UK’s Department for Transport is planning an informal meeting with mobile phone carriers to mandate a “driving safe” mode to be built into future devices, as The Guardian reports. It could be less restrictive than an airplane mode, allowing emergency calls, but the UK government has released no firm official statement on what the driving mode would specifically entail.
All we have to work with directly from the Department for Transport are two statements, one from the department’s minister, and one from a department spokesperson. Quoting from The Guardian:
The transport minister Lord Ahmad said the meeting would “consider safe drive modes, or other practical applications, when a person is driving”.
A DfT spokesman said: “We are determined to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel. Our plans to double penalties for this serious crime should act as an incredibly strong deterrent. We will continue to explore what more can be done to tackle this crime.”
The whole thing sounds like what NHTSA talked about early this year in the United States with a similar ‘Driving Mode’ option on your phone.
Still, the British government itself isn’t exactly saying it’s going to ban any signal going to your phone while you’re driving just yet, and thus far only has issued harsher fines for cell phone use while behind the wheel.
Regardless, it’s interesting to think of, though difficult to imagine how it would keep the driver off the phone without blocking everyone else in the car at the same time.