NHTSA Sets March 23 Workshop on Distracting Technologies

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the agency's Vehicle and Research Test Center in East Liberty, Ohio.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will conduct a technical workshop on March 23 about its proposed voluntary guidelines intended to discourage vehicle manufacturers from adding "excessively distracting devices," in the agency's words, to their vehicles. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the agency's Vehicle and Research Test Center in East Liberty, Ohio.

NHTSA issued the guidelines Feb. 24. In announcing the workshop, the agency says this event will give interested parties an opportunity to discuss the technical issues involved informally, but because it will take place in a lab environment, the number of those attending from each affiliation should be kept to a minimum.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held the first of three public hearings on the guidelines March 12. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and Associate NHTSA Administrator for Applied Research John Maddox participated, hearing panelists offer their assessment of the guidelines and ideas for preventing driver distractions. "The guidance we're offering automakers will help them develop the electronic systems that today's consumer expects and without sacrificing safety," Strickland said.

Anyone interested in attending or presenting/participating in the discussion at the workshop is asked to contact Elizabeth Mazzae by March 16 at elizabeth.mazzae@dot.gov, phone 937-666-4511, fax 937-666-3590, address Applied Crash Avoidance Research Division, Vehicle Research and Test Center, NHTSA, 10820 State Route 347, Bldg. 60, East Liberty, OH 43319, and to provide name, affiliation, address, email address, phone and fax numbers, and whether accommodations such as a translator or sign language interpreter are needed.

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