NTSB Recommends Full Ban On Use Of Cell Phones While Driving

A federal safety board called Tuesday for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. The recommendation is the most far-reaching yet by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in the past 10 years has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices — recommending bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers. Tuesday’s recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road.

It would apply to hands-free as well as hand-held devices, but devices installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer would be allowed, the NTSB said.

The recommendation would not affect passengers’ rights to use such devices.

NTSB members say the action is necessary to combat a growing threat posed by distracted drivers. While distracted driving has been a problem “since the Model T,” in the words of NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman, authorities say it has become ubiquitous with the explosion in the number of portable smart phones. At any given daylight moment, some 13.5 million drivers are on hand-held phones, according to a study released last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some 3,092 roadway fatalities last year involved distracted drivers, although the actual number may be far higher, NHTSA said.

“This (distracted driving) is becoming the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.

Accident investigators routinely seek protective orders to preserve smart phones for use as evidence in accident investigations, Hersman said.

But because distracted drivers sometimes do not own up to their actions, or because they die during the crash, determining whether distraction was a factor in an accident can be difficult. More in CNN.

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  1. full support of this, lakewood is a prime example why this needs to become Law , way to many people injured or even worse killed because they are ditstracted using cell phones while driving, put some real teeth into the law ~ stif penalties for those who flaunt the law HEAVY FINES !!!

  2. I’m all for it; however, I also agree with #3. What’s the difference if you’re talking to a passenger in your car or on a hands-free device? I personally, never pick up a call when I’m driving.

  3. I am all for the ban on hand held phones and texting. Just today a man was texting while in the center lane on the Parkway. He was weaving all over the road and going 45mph. I think the hands free blue tooth devices are OK and should be allowed. They are the same as talking to a passenger. How can a policeman tell if you’re talking on a blue tooth device? #5 An installed blue tooth device dials on voice command. You do not use you hands other than to push a button on the steering post..

  4. WOW! Just think of all the ramifications of this law. We will need a Federal Police force to issue tickets. Bigger Government watching over us. Must be another Democratic jobs bill. When will stop and people take responsibility for their actions.

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