Road Distraction Worries Over Dashboard DVD Players - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/29/04-Tyler

Road Distraction Worries Over Dashboard DVD Players

They're sleek, shiny and state of the art. Dashboard DVD players are a hot trend and East Texas drivers are lining up to get them installed.
"The sales have increased rapidly," said Chris Hall, sales manager at Performance Audio in Tyler. "We'll do on average about 3 or 4 a week of these."
They may be a popular, but they do come with restrictions.
"You have to have the emergency break on that way it won't work, so you have to be in a parked position," said Chris. "The law just doesn't want it to where you are driving down the road, cause it's a distraction."
It's that type of distraction Alaska law officials believe led to the first fatality from a driver using a dashboard DVD player. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Erwin J. Peterson Jr. had illegally rigged his DVD player to work while driving and that he was watching a movie when he hit another car head on killing two people.
At the AAA Security Driving Academy in Tyler, owner Martha Gilley stresses the importance of focusing on the road.
"We're such a fast paced society and we live in our cars," said Martha. "It's just one more distraction we don't need. I think that it's going to cause a lot of death, a lot of death on the highways."
"The average person takes a second and a half to react to a situation. That's just getting your foot to the break, that's not even applying the break," said Martha.
But when the emergency break is on, you're free to enjoy your latest DVD. Chris Hall at Performance Audio says the business will only install dashboard DVD players to work while the emergency brake is on, despite customers' requests to do otherwise.
If you are caught driving while using your player, you will be penalized.

Story by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com

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