Distracted driving isn’t just a problem in personal vehicles. It’s common in commercial and public-sector fleets too. Now technologies are reaching the market that will block drivers from texting or talking on cellphones while a vehicle is moving.

For instance, a local police department in Minnesota is deploying technology that puts any unauthorized mobile device onboard the vehicle into a blocked mode. The device — developed by Cellcontrol — plugs into a vehicle’s onboard computer and immediately switches into “blocking mode” when the vehicle reaches a speed of 1 mph or higher.

Distracted driving is a common practice not only in commercial fleets, but also public-sector vehicles.

“There’s no difference in the public sector,” said Kevin Coppolino, Cellcontrol’s vice president of corporate development. “Whether it’s public transport, public safety, whether it’s government based on federal and state. The same thing is happening there.”

As legislation outlawing talking on cellphones and texting while driving spreads from state to state, Coppolino said police, state government and public safety fleets will most likely lead by example by putting a stop to mobile phone use while driving a vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Will Merydith. Read about more dirty jobs in government

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.