Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

New Jesery’s next target: GPS

Posted by lapearce on June 21, 2009


BMW has a flat dashboard and controls on the passenger side so passengers can operate the GPS while the driver drives

BMW has a flat dashboard and controls on the passenger side so passengers can operate the GPS while the driver drives

New Jersey is a national leader in driving laws right now. They were one of the earlier states to ban cell phone use and text messaging while driving, and the first state to introduce teen driving stickers for new drivers. Now New Jersey Assemblyman Harvey Smith has his aim on legislature’s next target: GPS.


The use of GPS in a car is arguably safer than looking down at maps and directions. Play-by-play spoken directions with maps that follow your location are meant to help prevent drivers from being distracted. They probably do, except at one key time:

When you program them.

The process of adding/finding a destination and telling the GPS unit to get you there may only take a minute, but it’s a minute when your eyes are off the road. Newer BMWs have the dash face the center of the car, and not the driver, specifically so the passenger can program the GPS for the driver while he/she drives. Other GPS units, like Honda’s, are voice activated to limit the amount of time you look at them. 

I understand the danger here, but the process takes so little time that I can’t see how it can be enforced. The police will need to have a sharp eye in order to give out the $100 fine for programing a GPS unit while you drive. Ironically, this could be distracting for the police.

This is not yet law, it was just been introduced to the legislature on June 8. It needs to get through both houses and the governor before it becomes illegal to program your GPS while driving. The article linked above asks a very good question: what’s next? Ipods? Looking for gum? Smacking your kids in the backseat?

How about we just get some common sense, figure out this stuff is dangerous and stop doing it? I spoke to a 19 year old girl last night who totalled her last car because she was texting while she drove. I told her how that wasn’t a very good ideas and she told me, “oh, I’ll still do it.”

Paging Darwin to the U.S. roads.


One Response to “New Jesery’s next target: GPS”

  1. What about all the adult drivers I see every morning on my way to work reading the newspaper that is on top of their steering wheels and the men shaving and the women putting on their makeup while driving?? Scary stuff people!

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