PACTS has joined other road safety charities and organisations in urging the mobile phone industry to include an ‘opt out’ driving mode as standard on all mobile handsets.
PACTS has co-signed a letter with Brake, RAC, Road Safety GB, RED Driving School and RoadPeace to Android, Microsoft and others ahead of the release of Apple’s iOS 11 system update, which will include a ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode.
The ‘opt out’ driving mode should include a number of features,
- Automatically, as a default setting, switch on when sensors in the handset detect the user is driving;
- Turn the screen blank and suspend any push notifications;
- Be able to send automatic replies via SMS to anyone contacting the user to inform them that they are driving;
- Only permit the handset to be used in conjunction with a hands-free device when enabled; and
- Provide evidence that the phone was in ‘drive safe’ mode – potentially leading to reduced insurance premiums.
The letter urges the mobile phone industry to act, stating that they have ‘a major part to play in reducing the distraction caused by phones in the car’.