Letters: Safe Driving; EAS
Drivers Safe, Not Distracted
keep hearing statements in Radio World and in other journals
about how potential car buyers “want a full browsing experience in
the dash,” and want to be connected while driving.
bad enough that drivers are texting or retrieving their emails with
their smartphones, and taking their eyes off the road for this. Now
the carmakers are suggesting they interface with a touch-screen on
the dash so they can Google the best place for sushi in Los Angeles?
someone who used to travel heavily, I remember when car rental places
began putting GPS units in vehicles. When I first interacted with
one, I recall trying to look at it and drive at the same time, until
I finally just wanted it to be quiet; but it kept telling me to go
back to the last exit. I shut it off because I realized I was
actually slowing down and not paying sufficiently close attention to
believe most modern-day consumers want their devices to stay portable
and do not need the vehicle for connectivity. I recently helped
someone achieve Bluetooth connectivity between their smartphone and
their new vehicle, thereby allowing them hands-free
operation to answer calls without taking either hand off the wheel.
Now that made sense.
thing about the AM/FM radio in my vehicles is that I simply press a
button on my steering wheel or radio and select the station I want.
That ends my interface with it. Even while driving outside the range
of my presets, I need only hit the search button repeatedly to find a
station that fits my needs and merrily go on my way with minimum
then making vehicles with Internet-equipped dashboards, manufacturing
efforts would be best served trying to make vehicles safely drive
themselves, so the operator can watch reruns of sitcoms or
browse the Net safely.
After all, did not the technology experts tell us we would be in
vehicles like the Jetsons’ by now anyway?
of Network Engineering
Read on EAS
In reading Warren
Shulz’s guest commentary (“It’s Broke; Stop Trying to Fix It,”
June 5), I am glad to see that someone shares my same outlook on EAS.
We are missing the boat
by not utilizing the NOAA chain of weather-alert stations. We are
stuck receiving FM broadcast stations that were set up as LP1 and LP2
years ago. Some of these stations are in fringe reception areas, but
that is what we are dictated to monitor.
Then, when a
“nationwide alert” is generated, it is like holding a camera
while looking into several mirrors: lots of distortion with multiple
stations echoing at each other. Broadcasters have spent a lot of time
and money to comply with the “new” EAS requirements, and results
have been poor at best.
On paper it may work,
but in practice, it certainly does not. States have fallen short on
rewriting statewide EAS plans, and too many agencies have their
fingers in the pie.
Most of my clients have
“hard copy” EAS logs and everything is kept in binders. Paper and
ink manufacturers are making a lot of money from people that keep
hard copies. No longer do we have the small paper tapes. We have
binders and binders of letter-size printouts.
So far, in 2013, one
of my clients has a 4-inch binder and two 2-inch binders full of
printouts, and we’re only halfway through the year.
As Mr. Shulz pointed
out, the EAS system is broke, and “high-tech” isn’t always the
I remember watching
officials on TV when Hurricane Sandy went up north. They told people
to use their cellphones to call numbers for shelters or go online to
specific websites, but did they not realize that most cellular
coverage was down and most people in the affected area had no
Internet connectivity. Nor did most people have TV in the affected
areas. Some people couldn’t figure why they couldn’t get
instructions from emergency officials on their MP3 players.
We have a lot of work
ahead of us.
Joe W. Patton
La Grange, N.C.