Countermeasures against dangerous use of communication devices while driving –: a toolbox

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This report outlines possible means to reduce the dangerous usage of mobile phones and other communication devices while driving. An important aspect of this commission was to demonstrate alternatives to legislation. The suggested countermeasures cover several areas. One is technical solutions, including countermeasures directed towards the infrastructure, the vehicle and the communication device. Another area includes education and information and describes different ways to increase knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, there are different possibilities for how society can influence the behaviour of individuals, both via bans, recommendations and incentives. The usage of communication devices while driving has both advantages and disadvantages. How to deal with device usage is a complex problem, and it is unlikely that one single countermeasure can provide a complete solution. One countermeasure may even depend on the implementation of others. The exact effect of most countermeasures is hard to predict, and possible side effects may occur. It is therefore necessary to be pragmatic, meaning that countermeasures whose advantages outweigh their disadvantages should be implemented. Also, different countermeasures can reinforce each other which may attenuate negative side effects. It is our opinion that a combination of different countermeasures – which educate and inform the driver while at the same time support him or her in a safe usage of communication devices – is preferable to a law against communication device usage while driving. Continuous follow-ups are necessary to ensure the outcome of implemented countermeasures.

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