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NTSB Recommends Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving



The United States’ National Transportation Safety Board, in an unanimous ruling today, recommended that states ban all cell phone use by those sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle, except for in emergencies. The ruling is in response to a deadly crash last year in Missouri where the driver of a pickup truck sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes prior to the truck slamming into the back of a tractor trailer.

The 19-year old driver of the pick up truck was killed as was a 15-year old student who was on board one of the school buses that ended up slamming into the back of the pickup  truck.

Thirty eight other people were injured in the wreck.

HTC Rezound

This recommendation pertains to both hands-free and hands-on phone use but is focused on drivers only. Those in the passenger seat would not be subject to the ban.

Of course, there is a long way to go before the recommendation could turn into law. The NTSB itself cannot put these restrictions into place, it can only make the recommendation.

That means that it will be up to state governments to decide whether or not they want to impose a ban of this magnitude. Still, a recommendation of this magnitude could go a long way in convincing governments and state regulators to adopt this policy.

The NTSB isn’t the only one concerned with cell phone use while driving either.

Carriers like Sprint are doing their part as well. In September, Sprint launched an application called Sprint Smart Drive First which is an application aimed at teen drivers that helps to re-focus the attention of young drivers to the road and away from their phones.

Via: SFGate



  1. Guest

    12/13/2011 at 6:36 pm

    Yeah, like that will ever happen with the cell phone lobby. It needs to happen though, and it needs to carry a stiff fine of at least $500 for the first offense. And the police need to enforce it. How many times every day does some dimwit cut you off of drift into your lane because they are too use fussing with their cell phone.

    • Guest

      12/13/2011 at 7:39 pm

      So let’s all punish everyone who has a cell phone just because of a few idiots? No thanks.

      Banning use while driving is ludicrous – especially with the advent of hands-free communication apps that let you dial your phone, read texts to you, and let you send texts.

      The mere expectation that people will follow these laws is flawed too, as many will just shift to holding the phone in “sneakier” manners to avoid being seen using it thus leading to even more dangerous behavior. I know this is true – as I do this all the time to text or surf the web while driving through Maryland where handheld phone use is banned. Banning use preventing use. (Heck, I even plugged the phone in a couple weeks ago and used Verizon’s NFL app to watch the Sunday night game while I drove from PA to home. It was nice driving and watching TV at the same time.)

  2. Dr. Septimus Pretorius

    12/13/2011 at 8:05 pm

    A driver who is using a cell phone is a distracted driver—whether it’s handheld or hands-free. And of course, texting or checking or composing email are recipes for tragedy. My car has factory Bluetooth with controls on the steering wheel. I’ll push the button to answer an incoming call, usually to tell the caller I’m driving and that I’ll call back after I’ve arrived at my destination. I NEVER initiate calls while driving.

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