Several states ban drivers from using cellphones while behind the wheel and dozens ban texting while driving. Florida is one of the few states with few laws in place relating to driving and cellphones. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all states ban drivers from using cellphones at all.
The board points to numerous fatal car accidents over the last several years that can be traced back to distracted driving. It is the most far-reaching recommendation to date, but many question whether it could actually be enforced.
The NTSB does not have the power to enforce the recommendation, but its recommendations are often followed. In this case, it may depend on how state lawmakers react to the move.
The recommended ban would not only ban cellphones, but also hands-free devices, while drivers are operating their vehicles. A spokesperson for the NTSB says concern has been heightened by improving technology that makes handheld digital devices more and more tempting to use. Rather than just making routine phone calls, drivers are now checking their Facebook pages while they sit in traffic.
The agency admits that the ban will be unpopular, and many drivers are unlikely to want to give up their cellphones once they get in the car. But other groups, including many safety advocates, support the ban, and note that even drivers who continue to use cellphones often refer to such behavior as “extremely dangerous,” according to the New York Times.
What do you think about the board’s recommendation?
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Source: New York Times, “U.S. Safety Board urges cellphone ban for drivers,” Matt Richtel, Dec. 13, 2011