NTSB Recommends Ban On Driver Cell Phone Use

Federal accident investigators recommended states ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in emergencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation followed a finding by the board that the initial collision in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year was caused by the inattention of a 19 year-old-pickup driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident.

The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured.

The NTSB's recommendation makes an exception for use of phones and other devices in emergency situations.

The board doesn't have the power to impose regulations, but its recommendations carry significant weight with lawmakers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM
    If only the passing of this law could bring back the hundreds of people who have lost their lives in accidents caused by people on cell phones. While I agree the car stereos can be a distraction too, they can usually be dealt with at a glance. Unlike a cell phone that requires the user to LOOK at it and SEE information. I also fault those GPS screens on dash boards; terrible idea when people don't pull over to use them. Perhaps, it's a ploy by a foreign country...consider this scenario...'put many technical gadgets inside the Americans' cars; soon, they will be so distracted, they will eradicate themselves.' I know it's far-fetched, but just think about it.
  • by Ricky Location: Martin County on Dec 14, 2011 at 01:30 PM
    Would they ban eating if he had been. If they do pass this recommendation what will be next? I have heard it compared to drinking and driving while I do not drink I believe you can hang up quicker than you can sober up.
  • by Lee Location: Washington on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    The next thing to go will be radios, they are loud and people sing and laugh with it and if that is not enough then maybe we limit the number of people in a vehicle to lets see, how about one. Then people will lose focus due to bordom and fall asleep at the wheele. What do we do?
    • reply
      by Frank on Dec 14, 2011 at 01:58 PM in reply to Lee
      Driving is a privilage not a right, and when you text and drive you are putting others at risk. I meet someone coming into my lane at least twice a day and you can tell they are texting. When you get behind the wheel you are supposed to DRIVE.
      • reply
        by Formerly O.L.I. on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:52 AM in reply to Frank
        It happened to me today (again) also, twice in one short one-hour errand to town. Plus, one of them sat at the green light forcing me to toot the horn to go. The first one almost ran me off the road on a rural two-lane; really scary. Put down the phones; drive with respect for the other people out there. I have a cell phone and I follow this advice too.
  • by JG Location: Greenville on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:49 AM
    My grandad once told me that cars are like bullets and they are all flying towards you so you need to concntrate on what you are doing as well as the other drivers if you want survive. I think he had a valid point. And, I have never had an accident.
  • by Mike Location: Enc on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    I am not at all in favour of the government passing laws that restrict our freedoms ,but i do belive this is a good one. Hands free is not the same as talking to a passenger. When engaged in a phone conversation your mind is not concentrating on whats going on around you. Ive experinced it first hand.
  • by Bertie County on Dec 14, 2011 at 09:13 AM
    I am all for not texting and holding a phone to your ear but I feel hands free is ok because if you have both hands on the wheel and not talking on a phone you have to hold then it is the same thing as driving and talking to the person beside you or people or kids in the back seat. What next, we can't let anyone ride with us so we will not talk while driving. I'm with you Bo and I will use a hands free phone.
  • by booboo on Dec 14, 2011 at 09:11 AM
    So some young inexperienced drivers make mistakes and everyone else has to be punished? Typical over reaction. While the're at it, why not ban eating, drinking, singing, talking to passenger, turning the heat or A/C on/off, rolling down the windows, scratching an itch, putting on make up and shaving in the car. Those are all distractions as well!
  • by Stan Location: Plymouth on Dec 14, 2011 at 09:06 AM
    I rarely take phone calls when driving, but am strongly against taking my right to do so. As others have already stated, talking on a cell phone is no different than talking to a passenger. Also, I might add, if it is decided to allow hands free talking only, then wouldn't that imply that you must keep both hands on your steering wheel at all times or be ticketed for that too? Ban texting & e-mailing, not voice conversations!
  • by Bo on Dec 14, 2011 at 08:15 AM
    I may not text while I drive, but I will not stop using my cell phone when I drive. I am a very cautious driver. I have an excellent driver's record for over 20 yrs now.
    • reply
      by Stan on Dec 14, 2011 at 09:14 AM in reply to Bo
      I agree. It seems that most of the problem is with the younger, inexperienced drivers who think they can do whatever they want, without regard for others.
  • by Carolina Kidd Location: As far from you as possible... on Dec 14, 2011 at 07:43 AM
    The many states across the country had approved the usage of hands-free, communications devices, with the intentions of minimizing distractions while driving. This is old news. The bad thing about this "priviledge" is, the law simply isn't being ENFORCED, for those whom has convinced themselves, the rule(s) doesn't pertain to them. It gets worse people. I've seen on numerous occassions, THE COPS ARE RULE-BREAKERS!!! Yappin' away w/ cell phone plastered against their coconuts!!! When does the "lead by example" card gets played? For the "special" people, never I guess... Just keep your distracted selves away from my daughter & me.
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