To the Editor:
I agree with Opinion Page Editor Jesse Snyder on the need for a serious response to the increasing rate of accidents and fatalities because of distracted driving ("Do more to fight driver distraction," July 4).
It is nearly impossible to go anywhere without seeing someone behind the wheel who is paying 100 percent of his attention to a cellphone.
But the solution should come from the industry that created the problem: cellular providers. Embedded in most cellphones sold today is technology that senses whether a device is moving or stationary. Likewise, most cellphones are GPS-enabled.
Combined, those capabilities can facilitate a disable feature for texting and browsing when a device is moving above a certain speed.
The auto industry has taken that sensible step for years, disabling some screen input functions for in-cabin electronics when a vehicle is moving above a few miles per hour. Why won't the cellular industry do so?
I suspect we know the answer: Cellular carriers reap big revenue from texting and data streaming and probably don't want to see those revenues decline. But no one can ignore the statistics. It is a huge problem, growing at an alarming rate.
The automotive industry does its part to make vehicles more safe. It's time to shine the spotlight on the industry that has been shamefully nonresponsive to a problem that could be addressed easily.
The writer has worked in automotive retail management.