Distracted Walking Laws

So various places are adding “Distracted Walking” laws to try to prevent people from texting or just reading their phones while walking.

The latest place to pass this law was Honolulu. They have started passing out tickets to those distracted while walking in a crosswalk. They are the first major city in the U.S. to pass such a law. Minimum fines will be $15 but repeat offenders can look at $75-$99. (Even higher rates of $100 for first, $200 for second, and $500 for third offenses were previously considered.)

The Mayor of Honolulu says that they had more pedestrians hit in crosswalks than almost anywhere else.

Ontario Canada is looking to pass a “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” as well to make it illegal to cross a street while using a phone.

npr.com
treehugger.com

Are Smartphones taking too much from us?

Recently in the news, the Victor Crew have seen a few articles that should cause concern over the way we let smartphones take over our lives.

The first is that a university in Utah have gone so far as to make a separate lane on the stairs and halls just for those texting while walking. Utah Valley University actually has three lanes, one for walking, one for running, and one for texting. While they say the students don’t actually follow the lines, it has stirred up a lot of buzz across the internet. http://blogs.uvu.edu/newsroom/2015/06/17/uvu-photograph-goes-viral/

Another articles tells about a security flaw in Apple’s iOS and OS X systems, found by six university researchers, that allows malicious apps to gain access to anything saved in the Keychain. The apps containing the malware were uploaded to Apple’s App Store without triggering alarms. When installed, it can raid the Keychain and steal passwords as well as those saved in Google Chrome browser, as well as password vaults. The Google Chromium team has responded by removing Keychain integration for Chrome. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/17/apple_hosed_boffins_drop_0day_mac_ios_research_blitzkrieg/

The third and most startling article is about a teenager in Canada that had his life taken over a stolen smartphone. Jeremy Cook lost his phone in a taxi and tracked to a strip mall through his tracking app. He went to approach the car where he believed his phone to be and confronted the the people in the car. As they started to drive away, he held onto the handles of the car and was shot to death in the parking lot. They later found the phone in the car, crashed and abandoned.

If something happens, sure you can use your tracking app to try to find it, but call the police before attempting to retrieve it. Use your app to lock it and wipe the data as well.

Ways to stop your teens from texting and driving

There are a couple new gadgets that can be put in the car to prevent people from texting and driving. The Victor crew set out to find out more about it.

Groove. This one was developed by Scott Tibbitts, a former rocket scientist who lost a colleague killed by a distracted 16-year-old driver. Along with Katie Couric, you can watch this video that has Katie installing the device and finding out about it. It installs in the car’s diagnostic port. It connects to the cloud. It detects when there is a single driver to block texts and other notifications while allowing navigation and music streams. When it detects more than one person in the car, it will shut down assuming the family will take care of itself and not allow distractions. It should cost about $30 for the device and $8/month.
Watch the video to find out more.

CellControl. DriverID is a device that blocks all driver cell phone functions. It is a device similar to Groove plus an app that costs $129. You can configure driver only policies. It senses when there is motion to begin protecting. You can configure to allow specific applications to work. It is always on and it claims to be tamper resistant.
Find out more here.