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AS IF CELL PHONES WEREN'T ENOUGH

2002, John S. Allen

The promotion below for the Pioneer AVSYS8DVD in-dash DVD player appeared in a Best Buy flyer which was inserted in the Boston Sunday Globe of February 3, 2002.


Promotion for the Pioneer AVSYS8DVD in-dash DVD player

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This device is illegal in Massachusetts, whether or not it includes a brake interlock. The following is from the Massachusetts Driver's Manual:

Televisions

The law requires that any television installed in a private passenger vehicle must be located behind and not visible to the driver. This ensures that a driver cannot be distracted by a television screen, even when looking sideways out of the vehicle.

The relevant language is in Chapter 90, 13 of the Massachusetts General Laws:

No person shall drive any motor vehicle equipped with any television viewer, screen or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast which is located in the motor vehicle at any point forward of the back of the driver's seat, or which is visible to the driver while operating such motor vehicle.

Just how difficult would it be to defeat the parking brake interlock? Probably not difficult at all, as the interlock is likely to be nothing more than an electrical switch.

A DVD screen in the dashboard, with a parking brake interlock, will not be usable by anyone while the vehicle is in motion, and so the temptation to defeat the interlock is obvious. A video screen behind the front seat of a vehicle, where passengers can view it but the driver can not, poses less of a problem and is legal.

The best thing to say about this product is that its high price will assure that few are sold.


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Contents 2001, John S. Allen
Last modified 29 January 2002