This is a lie.

The number of people using a cellphone without handsfree at this point in negligible... cost/benefit doesn't weigh out. So I propose that this is a ruse for a massive facial recognition, location tracking system.

@thegibson And it's legal if you're using handsfree. If their 100 000 figure is right, then this might legitimately be their motivation.

@thegibson I feel like the numbers there might be very specific Australia.

It's still a very evil surveillance idea, but I can't be sure they don't have a real problem there with that. Especially give the number of examples of older nonsmart phones, old school texting and driving has to be the most distracting way to use a phone while driving.

It would never really fly here in the US...

@TheGibson never underestimate a shady cop department's desire for easy money...

the third party contractor definitely is hoping for that country-wide facial recognition system contract though...

"you see they already do this for the police cell phone enforcement system so they are totally qualified to do it everywhere else too..."

@TheGibson I dunno - if it's anything like NZ, ~1 in 3 drivers drive with their cellphone in their hand. Most check it every few seconds and text without consideration for anyone else on (or near) the road... Almost no one seems to use handsfree (and, to be fair, that's almost as bad as in your hand, attention-wise)...

@lightweight @TheGibson

UK authorities have been monitoring these developments closely (I fully expect the same schemes/equipment to appear in post Brexit Britain when some of the EU privacy/human rights laws get watered down)

OTOH there genuinely is a problem with drivers using social media apps at the wheel (these rarely work with Bluetooth unless you have a higher end car which ofc many younger drivers cannot afford)

@lightweight @TheGibson

over here we have *very* strong penalties for (non handsfree) mobile phone use at the wheel, which include licence revocation for young or new drivers yet people still take their chances with it and there are regular crashes on the rural roads (where drivers feel they can get away with it precisely because there are fewer cameras or traffc patrols than in the urban areas or "fast" highways)

@TheGibson @lightweight

I don't think you are wrong about the potential for these schemes functionality to be expanded for further surveillance purposes, but its a dilemma that there are genuine road safety issues too..

As a new driver I wasn't too happy about the amount of extras bolted on to the UK driving test since the 1990s, but they do appear to have improved UK road safety since then.

TBH I think with /anything/ to do with cars you are increasingly now "made to love Big Brother.."

@vfrmedia @lightweight @thegibson I don't think EU regulations are an obstacle, they're deploying a similar thing in France as we speak :/

@thegibson this is likely AI snakeoil, but I see people driving holding or looking down at their phones all the time

@float13 @thegibson I was writing a big post that amounts to "same and I almost died", but then I had to consider whether I only notice because it's far more obvious than an earpiece

@thegibson Maryland has strict rules about touching phones or any electronics while driving and it's still a problem. Half the people around me on the beltway are clicking around on maps or reporting shit on waze while driving.

A lot of cars have central touch panels that are awful at voice control. My 2016 doesn't even offer voice, just a big ol' shitty panel to control maps and the audio system. If one were to use its main functions, it's pretty much impossible without touching it while driving. Also it's way out of line of sight for the road.

Hell, Tesla put fucking Netflix and Hulu into their dashboard.

The notion that everyone is using hands-free now is wrong. There are legit safety concerns. Big brother camera systems are not likely to be the solution but the problem is a real one.

@thegibson The thing is, in reality phone related crashes didn't really that big. I've seen studies suggesting that on average it's the case that a 100% increase in cell tower traffic volume provokes a 4.5% increase in actual accident frequency.

But politicians seem to love pulpit pounding on this. You're probably right that this is why.

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