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Drive safe software would put brakes on in-car phone use, government says

The UK government wants mobile manufacturers to include a “drive safe” mode as standard, to prevent distractions behind the wheel.

According to a report in The Guardian, ministers want an Airplane Mode-like software solution, with exceptions that enabler drivers to make emergency calls or accept them from certain people.

The report says the government is mulling a suggestion that the phone’s built-in GPS technology be used to disable communications when the driver hits a certain speed.

Talks will reportedly take place at Whitehall next week, before the pleas are made to mobile manufacturers.

The plans are the latest attempt to reduce smartphone use while driving.

The government is already raising the spot fine to £200 next spring for those caught using their phone without a headset. New measures also mean it’ll be six points on a UK driver’s license rather than three.

The meeting will “consider safe drive modes, or other practical applications, when a person is driving,” according to transport minister Lord Ahmad.

Related: Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto

While the talks are well intentioned, the likes of Apple and Google will surely argue that they  already have driver-safe measures in play with CarPlay and Android Auto.

Both are designed to negate the need to pick up a phone while driving.

However, the former requires a new compatible vehicle or an expensive after-market head unit. Google recently announced it was releasing the Android Auto app for all users, presenting the interface right on the smartphone screen, rather than requiring an external display.

Death by Driverless Car – Who’s at fault?

Do you think such measures are necessary to stop UK drivers messing with their phones while driving? Share your thoughts in the comments below.