Iowa DOT Disables Car Laptops to Prevent Accidents

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By Aaron Hepker

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are deploying new software to prevent law enforcement officers from using state-issued laptops while driving.

The state Department of Transportation says the laptop in every law enforcement vehicle helps officers do their jobs, but it can also be a distraction that leads to traffic problems and accidents.

The agency says the new software disables the laptop when the car speed reaches or exceeds 15 mph. The software automatically disables or locks the laptop and its key board, mouse, and touch screen.

Officials say critical applications will continue to run. The officer's physical location is still available to other colleagues, and an officer can use one keystroke to call for help.

The new system will be in use by Nov. 1.

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