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NTSB wants to ban all cellphone use in cars by drivers

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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

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