Soon, Californians may not even be able to use certain voice commands on their cell phones while driving.
A law that just went into effect in California on Jan. 1 allows drivers to compose text messages and emails by voice. The idea was that voice messaging would deter drivers from typing out messages themselves while driving, which has been proven to be dangerous.
Now, a California legislator wants to reverse the law and ban voice messaging while driving, NBC reports. Northern California Assemblyman Jim Frazier said Wednesday, a day after he introduced Assembly Bill 313, that voice messaging creates "cognitive distraction that causes 'inattention blindness.'"
"Safe driving requires a driver’s full attention -- hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on the task of driving," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, which supports AB 313. "There is no research or evidence that indicates voice-activated technologies eliminate or even reduce the distraction to the drivers’ mind. Unless such research becomes available, texting laws, such as California’s, should not be weakened by legalizing the use of voice-to-text technologies."
"Who needs to do texting of any kind while driving?," Frazier said. "Is a text message really worth the risk of injuring or killing someone?"
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