States Should Ban All Cellphone Use, Texting, Emailing By Drivers, US Safety Investigators Say
I know there are those who say it’s government trying to intervene again, but I think this would be a good thing even though it would make me change my personal cell phone usage. While I never read or send texts while driving, I do use my cell phone when I drive sometimes but I always use my Bluetooth so I can keep both hands on the wheel. I don’t feel distracted, but there are those that would beg to differ. I also realize that there have been far too many accidents and deaths cell phone related so something has to be done. No call or text is worth dying or killing someone for.
Texting, emailing or chatting on a cellphone while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed, federal safety investigators declared Tuesday, urging all states to impose total bans except for emergencies.
Inspired by recent deadly crashes — including one in which a teenager sent or received 11 text messages in 11 minutes before an accident — the recommendation would apply even to hands-free devices, a much stricter rule than any current state law.
The unanimous recommendation by the five-member National Transportation Safety Board would make an exception for devices deemed to aid driver safety such as GPS navigation systems.
A group representing state highway safety offices called the recommendation “a game-changer.”
“States aren’t ready to support a total ban yet, but this may start the discussion,” Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, said.
NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman acknowledged the recommendation would be unpopular with many people and that complying would involve changing what has become ingrained behavior for many Americans.
While the NTSB doesn’t have the power to impose restrictions, its recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers. Another recommendation issued Tuesday urges states to aggressively enforce current bans on text messaging and the use of cellphones and other portable electronic devices while driving.
“We’re not here to win a popularity contest,” she said. “No email, no text, no update, no call is worth a human life.”