Apple’s ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature welcomed by motoring groupsMon, 10/07/2017
Using your mobile phone whilst driving is both illegal and dangerous. Even when not in use, mobile phones create a distraction with constant notifications, but luckily Apple has provided a solution within their latest update.
Neil Lancefield and Martyn Landi, The Mirror, reports:
Apple's new iPhone feature to stop drivers being distracted by their mobiles has been welcomed by motoring groups.
The function silences notifications and turns off the iPhone screen when it detects a user is driving.
Apple said increasing driver focus is the aim of the development, which will be included in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 11 , in the autumn.
Motoring groups have led calls for illegal phone use to be tackled after a string of high-profile cases and research indicating the problem is widespread.
Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC's BePhoneSmart campaign, said: "These days it is less phone calls and more the pings and buzzes of texts and social media apps that have the potential to distract a driver from the task at hand.
"We're pleased that at last millions of drivers that use an Apple iPhone are about to be able to put an end to intrusive notifications while they're behind the wheel."
AA president Edmund King said: "Our research shows that we need to do more to stop drivers using their phones at the wheel, and technology can help.
"More than half of young drivers can't bring themselves to turn off their mobile phones before driving.
"Whilst the responsibility for not using a hand-held phone at the wheel lies firmly with the driver, we welcome developments such as Do Not Disturb While Driving, which could remove the temptation to answer the phone for some drivers."
Someone who texts a phone with Apple's new function enabled will receive an automatic reply saying the person is on the road and unavailable.
In emergency situations, recipients of that message will be able to reply with the word "urgent" to push the message through.
Users will also be able to set favourite contacts who are still able to reach them even when they are driving.
Recent figures obtained by the Press Association showed that more than 200 drivers a day were caught using their phones illegally in a major crackdown.
Police forces in Britain penalised almost 6,000 motorists for the offence in the four weeks after tougher punishments took effect, equivalent to one every seven minutes.
Campaigners claimed the findings suggest many drivers are ignoring repeated warnings about the dangers of using phones at the wheel.
Since March 1, those who fall foul of the rules have faced receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine - up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.
The changes mean new drivers risk losing their licence for sending a single text.
The RAC is encouraging motorists to make a personal pledge to not use a hand-held phone while driving on the BePhoneSmart.uk website.
Twenty-two people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents on Britain's roads in 2015 where a motorist using a mobile was a contributory factor, Department for Transport figures show.
There have been falls in the numbers of drivers handed fines for using hand-held mobiles in recent years amid reductions in full-time dedicated road policing officers.
Reducing the distraction of mobile phones is a huge step in the right direction, and Apple’s latest feature, ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ appears to be a breakthrough. Hopefully this will be a feature adopted by other mobile phone providers in an attempt to make our roads a safer place.