NTSB wants to ban all cellphone use in cars by drivers

NTSB wants to ban all cellphone use in cars by drivers
The National Transportation Safety Board, better known as the NTSB, has made a recommendation that drivers be banned from using cellphones in all states, except for an emergency situation. The recommendation calls for a ban on the use by drivers in all 50 states and Washington D.C.of all portable electronic devices other than those used to "support the driving task". That comment in italics might leave a little wiggle room for drivers to use the GPS or Navigation function on their smartphone while driving. The NTSB also recommends the use of high-visibility enforcement and promotion of any new laws so as to make sure that all drivers are aware of any legislative changes.

Before you start getting paranoid about using your turn-by-turn navigation or listening to WFAN on the Radio.com app while you drive, the agency's recommendations are just that and carry absolutely no force of law. Politicians do listen to these suggestions, though, and there could be some legislation coming as a result. After all, this recommendation comes after a serious accident last year involving a pickup truck, two school buses and a 19 year-old driver who sent out 11 text messages in 11 minutes including one sent just moments before the accident. The resulting crash resulted in a pair of fatalities and left 38 injured. According to NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, more than 3,000 people were killed last year in accidents where the driver was distracted.

Earlier today, we reported on a a legislative session coming next month in Florida where local politicians will be trying to pass a bill that will outlaw texting by drivers. That bill would allow drivers to use their phone to make calls while driving, something that would be banned under the NTSB's suggested legislation. With 77% of the world's population using a cellphone (totaling 5.3 billion people) and with that figure jumping to more than 100% in the States, this is an important issue that is not going to go away. Recently produced NHTSA stats show that 2 out of 10 drivers say that they have texted and sent emails from the driver's seat, rising to 5 out of 10  drivers in the 21 to 24 year old age bracket.

source: NTSB, AP via AndroidCentral



1. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Question to Alan: I have no problem with a ban on most of the listed items. However, what about the use of a Bluetooth? Is there mention of such allowance? The article doesn't specify. The total across the board ban seems pretty harsh for today's business people. I'm on the road half the day and to eliminate communication to the office would impede productivity. Obviously, safety is a concern, but eliminating all communication in today's business world, is a step backward. John B.

2. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

So because someone uses their phone irresponsibly, someone wants to recommend that all usage of phones be banned altogether. Hmmm... I wonder what other controversial topic this sounds like...

3. Uzzelien

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

This is a total bad except for emergency usesage. Really it's a ban of everything but GPS and the radio. The funny thing is how many people with smart phones use them as GPS when they drive, I know I do mine. Hands free headsets are a joke. NHTSB has said that in a report that they don't make anything safer. Really it's just a way to give tickets. stThey're also trying to make cell makers put a chip in it so when it's going faster then 20 or so that it kills the phone. A problem is that it wouldn't be able to tell between passenger and driver.

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Even with a ban, people will still do the deed. California has a ban on cellular telephone use while driving unless you have some sort of handsfree (Bluetooth or similar) capability. I really don't see much of a reduction in people driving and talking on the telephone (one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a cellular telephone) in the S.F. Bay Area. Unless you are going to mandate some technology to disable cellular phones once the car starts (and think of the howling that would result from such an intervention), an outright ban isn't going to work.

5. kpfirefighter

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I'm all for it! Bluetooth should be fine! But I have seen A LOT of people injured or killed from people texting or reading text while they drive. It's almost as bad as drunk drivers in fact it's almost becoming worse! It seems that most of the car accidents I run on, are young kids between 16-20 that were playing with thier cell phones!!

8. Uzzelien

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

Bluetooth makes no difference. Holding you phone isn't the distraction or problem it's the fact that you're talking. Even the NHTB says that says that these laws don't do anything.

6. captn3x

Posts: 46; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

I agree that blue tooth devices should be mandatory since anytime you look down at your phone to dial or text, or even look something up is just asking for trouble. But if a full out ban is to be called for then people shouldn't be allowed to eat in the car or even adjust the radio. scanning through your ipod or wiping up ketchup from your shirt is just as dangerous.

7. nickjjay

Posts: 79; Member since: Oct 10, 2011

Its about time! They've been needing to make this a national standard for a long time. Please alow bluetooth though.

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