Ideally, you wouldn't need laws -- people should just care about their own skins, even if they don't care about others'. But sadly, so many people don't think they'll become the statistic. Some people will do dangerous stuff no matter what, so maybe better voice-controlled tech will help.
Here you go. A British PSA to high schoolers about texting and driving.
32GB Wifi iPad 2 / OS 7.0
I use my iPad for navigating around oilfield roads which are nearly deserted. The key word is "nearly". Meeting a speeding pickup on a bend is already dangerous enough. I don't need my attention anywhere but on the road.
There's another video somewhere which I wish I could find. It shows new drivers in Belgium being told that they have to perform a series of manoeuvres while composing a text in order to pass their driving test. They all agree that it's impossible.
If it were up to me, there'd be a more big brother approach to keeping people from using their devices in cars, but people would scream bloody murder about any such move by automakers (who could build in blocking technology in cars), and automakers wouldn't do it.
It's tragic that someone has to lose their life over something stupid like texting while driving, but when they die in crashes, it leaves the rest of us marginally safer. I just don't want them taking innocent bystanders with them, or injuring them. It's like their playing Russian roulette and the rest of us are endangered because of their choices.
If it were up to me there would be a seriously Big Brother mentality applied to being allowed to use a vehicle at all. Pilot's license grant privileges. Drivers seem to think that their license grants rights. We would do well to learn from the aviation industry.
There used to be a contributor to the "TruckersReport" forum called DieselBear. He had a thread going called "Some of the stupid things I see". Bearing in mind he is a DOT officer and he is talking about professional drivers, what he had to say was interesting, and horrifying.
I believe he quit the forum when one too many people offended him. Pity. His contributions were very educational.
I had a thought years ago that we should have a technology that automatically cut a vehicle's maximum possible speed to the speed limit on passing the relevant signpost. That was before most people, myself included, ever heard of the word "transponder" and RFID/NFC was a distant dream.
GM can already stop a vehicle using OnStar, so why not?
Self-driving vehicles? One day it may be practical, but I know how many split-second decisions it takes to get a trailer round a tight bend. I simply don't believe a computer system could handle all of the variables in sufficient time. Such a system would also have to be capable of being manually over-ridden, and guess who would be manually over-riding it? The very people we are talking about is my guess.