Feds Call for Complete Talk and Text Cellphone Ban for Drivers

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this week called for a complete, total ban on both talking on cell phones (even hands-free), and texting, by drivers. The recommendation, intended to reduce accidents resulting from “distracted driving” followed the Federal agency’s review of accidents resulting from a distracted driver – a problem so serious that the NTSB says that at any moment during any day, approximately 13.5 million drivers are using a cellphone.

Last year alone, nearly 3100 fatal accidents were known to be the result of distracted drivers, and the number of accidents attributable to talking or texting drivers is undoubtedly far higher when you include non-fatal accidents, and consider that few drivers will admit that they were texting or on the phone behind the wheel.

According to one NTSB members, Robert Sumwalt, distracted driving “is becoming the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic.”

In one of the accidents in 2010, the 19-year-old driver of a pickup that smashed into a tractor trailer, leading to a pile-up that also included two school buses, had received five text messages – and sent six text messages – during the 11 minutes leading up to the accident. Thirty-eight people were injured in that accident – and two were killed.

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“Needless lives are lost on our highways, and for what? Convenience? Death isn’t convenient,” said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman. “So we can stay more connected? A fatal accident severs that connection.”

Only 10 states currently ban holding a cell phone in your hand while driving, although 35 states ban texting while driving. But if the NTSB has its way, nobody will be allowed to have a phone in their hand while they are driving, unless it’s truly an emergency.

And we say it’s about time.

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3 thoughts on “Feds Call for Complete Talk and Text Cellphone Ban for Drivers

  1. I agree with banning texting & HOLDING a phone while driving. But I TOTALLY DISAGREE about banning ‘hands free’ phone conversation. That is actually LESS distracting than talking to passengers in the car with you as so VERY often people turn to look at the person they’re talking to in the car with greater frequency & for a MUCH longer time than it would take to press one button to answer the phone, thus keeping their eyes off the road for many more & longer moments of time. Also, those using a hands free phone can usually answer the phone without even having to look at it. And an even worse & more DANGEROUS thing are the parents that turn around while they’re driving to put a pacifier back into the baby’s mouth. They also turn around & do other things for the baby or kids too while driving. I personally get VERY nervous when I’m driving close to someone turned around & fussing with a baby or kid than I do when I see someone using a hands free headset.

  2. I totally agree with the idea that nobody should be holding a phone in their hand while driving. But we have STATE governments to handle that. The Federal government needs to keep their noses out, and we need to hammer our STATE legislators on that – who, by the way, are a lot easier to get hold of.

  3. About damn time. There is absolutely nothing anyone has to say on a cell phone traveling at any rate of speed that warrents endangering a life. If the moronic conversations I hear being carried out by mall pedesterans is any indication of content then using a communication device while underway should bring a charge of reckless endangerment and be punished accordingly. Not a popular stand I imagine but crusing through a gaggle of school kids while texting some sort of drivel ain’t gonna get you a lot of cudos either.

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