Apple’s ‘DND’ a good start

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the announcement by software giant Apple that its next iPhone software update will feature a ‘do not disturb while driving’ mode.

However, a spokesman warns that personal responsibility trumps technology as the most effective way of staying safe and legal while driving.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said, ‘As drivers we all have 100% concentration available at any one time; anyone deliberately allowing some of that concentration to be directed at something other than the driving task is compromising safety.

‘The Apple update is an excellent step forward, and a powerful awareness raiser for road safety. However, we are concerned that there is an option for a vehicle occupant to override the ‘do not disturb’ mode. Currently we are not aware of any technology that can distinguish between a driver and passenger choosing to override the safety feature. No doubt a hard core of offenders, with little or no regard for the law, will choose this option and continue to put lives at risk by using a phone while driving.

‘For every driver, taking personal responsibility and never touching or using a phone on a journey is the most effective way of reducing risk. A bit of planning might be needed, and this can make a huge difference for safety.

‘Anyone in a high-pressure working environment needs the support of colleagues and clients, so that we work together to remove the expectations on so many drivers to be available at all times. Let’s put safety first on every journey.’