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Phonemakers Asked to Alter Devices to Cut Driver Distraction

  • U.S. Transportation Department proposes voluntary guidelines
  • Electronics industry opposes proposal by safety regulators
A customer inspects the new iPhone at the Wangfujing flagship store on Sept. 20, 2013, in Beijing.
Photographer: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
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U.S. highway safety officials called on smartphone makers to add features that would keep motorists from using functions linked to a surge in deaths due to distracted driving, a proposal that drew immediate opposition from the electronics industry.

The voluntary guidelines proposed Wednesday asked device makers to take steps such as blocking some video displays and preventing manual text entry while vehicles are under way.