03/11/10 130 W - + 6 - 4 Responders Driven to Distraction

Yesterday's New York Times published the latest in their Driven to Distraction series on "high-speed multitasking," this time turning attention to police officers and paramedics. Some 75 percent of police cruisers have mobile terminals, they cite an analyst. And about 30 percent of ambulances are similarly equipped.

The article talks about pros and cons, laws and regulations, and new technologies. New Hampshire researchers, they note, have been developing hands-free technology for police cars. Drivers can operate radio, lights, siren, and even the on-board computer by voice commands! There are also systems that use digital video to automatically read license plates in view of the patrolling officer.

Read the article and discuss as desired. What are your perception of the dangers of "multitasking while responding?"

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