National Transportation Safety Board Proposes Nationwide Ban Of Cell Phones While Driving

National Transportation Safety Board Proposes Nationwide Ban Of Cell Phones While Driving

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has proposed a nationwide ban that prohibits the use of all non-emergency cell phone use in the car.

Currently, only select states have a law in place against cell phone use in automobiles, but the NTSB wants the U.S. government to make the use of personal electronic devices while driving illegal in all 50 states.

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

“According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents”, said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.”

“No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life.”

Expect to start seeing that last line on billboards in the near future.

  • DrM47145

    That is smart. Only in America you can drive while texting… “because people have the right to”…

  • Jordan Clay

    Wouldn’t a national ban make it a felony if you used a cell phone?
     
    It would suck being put in jail for life for using your cell phone 3 times

  • Mojo66

    “No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life.” How many lifes would be saved by restricting the purchase of fire arms? Typical US double morale.

  • JayeDee369

    Go ahead and ban it , by the time you douchebags do this, I’ll be talking to my phone handsfree assholes. Why not work on something more important, like I don’t know, getting people back to work for starters!

  • Erik Chavez

    I think you meant double standard? You probably live in a socialist country, don’t you? Heck, why not ban cars altogether, right? Imagine the lives saved if that happened!

  • Erik Chavez

    Huh? Car radios are just as distracting. So is eating while driving, shaving, etc! Let’s ban everything! Give me a nanny state!

  • MrMLK

    Last year, 3000 people died in “distraction related accidents” and about 25,000 people died in “alchohol related accidents”.  

    Guess which group has a better lobby in washington.

  • Erik Chavez

    Btw, the article is all wrong. The NTSB does not want the us government to ban anything. The NTSB wants all 50 states to draft their own laws banning it. The us government does not do traffic enforcement. Look at what you quoted.

  • Srose428

    Bout damn time, cant tell you how many times I have seen deplorable driving due to cell phones usage.  Really it is just a plain distraction, however I do believe if used in a hands free manner it should be completely legal, because this would be no different than having a conversation with someone in the passengers seat.  Here is a real option, impose a rule that all cars must be sold with a manual gear box, and you pay an absurd up charge for getting a auto.  not only will driving skills improve but you have to be a baller to text/talk and shift, unless you have Siri.  People in the US plain suck at driving and it really should be addressed nationally, rather than blame cell phones, teach people how to ANTICIPATE!

  • SaucerBoy

    Before you go out on a limb and suggest restrictions on firearms would save lives do a little research. First of all do you think someone crazy enough to go on a shooting spree cares if he/she purchase a weapon by legal means, and then will obey all weapon related laws? The answer is no. Now for an assigment I’d like you to read “More Guns Less Crime”

  • al friede

    this should’ve been enacted a long time ago! i’m so fucking sick of seeing assholes texting/talking/who knows what, while driving, fucking up everything around them b/c they’re living in their own lil [mobile] bubble…..while fucking driving!!!

  • Dave Arthurs

    you’re not allowed to drive drunk either.

  • DCRealist

    Dude, we’re already in nanny state land…and we brought it on ourselves with this “save us from every risk, oh powerful bureaucrats” attitude. Just look at the comments on this board. Land of the free? Maybe once upon a time.

    These idiots will have us ban water one day “for our own good” and “to protect the children”. Just watch.

    Don’t you know how many people drown every year? Water is just too dangerous to left unregulated. The oceans kills thousands each year too. It’s all gotta be regulated.

  • ThinkAndAct

    NTSB, contributing to the alphabet soup dictatorship.

  • ThinkAndAct

    NTSB, part of the government’s alphabet-agencies dictatorship!

  • ThinkAndAct

    Do you believe in government regulation? Yes, I think that the government should be highly regulated and restricted, so that it does not violate the rights of individuals.

  • Srose428

    Ron Paul said it best, we do not need the government to protect us from ourselves.  Its called learning a good lesson and not making the same mistake twice.

  • ThinkAndAct

    A dictatorship is a dictatorship, regardless if it is established by a democratic vote or brute force, whether “for our own good” or our own detriment.

  • Allan Cook

    Good. Best news I’ve heard today. The problem used to be bad, but lately it’s gotten out of control. At least half the drivers I see every day are texting or lazily yakking into their mobiles as if they were sitting in their living rooms.

  • Allan Cook

    It’s not about what’s good for the drivers, it’s about what’s good for me. And what’s good for me is not being slammed into by some gum-smacking teenybopper texting her BFF about her latest romantic tribulations. It is highly dangerous and a threat to everyone on the road. Just like drunk driving.

  • Allan Cook

    You may want to reconsider your handle. I don’t think “thinking” is your strong suit.

  • Len Williams

    Unfortunately it’s the few who use cell phones unwisely and create accidents, who then prompt the politicians to propose new laws that limit the majority of good drivers who occasionally need to talk while driving, and do so intelligently. Of course, texting and taking your eyes off the road are dumb at any time while driving, and nature has a way of removing stupid individuals from the gene pool. However, since these idiots are also at the wheel of a large vehicular weapon, they can take out innocent people in the process.

  • Srose428

    Here in Orlando, there are definitely not just a few.  So would you argue good drivers that occasionally need to drink and drive intelligently, should be allowed to do so?  The problem is people straight suck at driving, think about the drivers test, it is more of a process than a challenge and if it was challenging then well please turn in your license. 

  • DCRealist

    nor yours, mr ad hominem attack

  • DCRealist

    I believe that you suffer from the “it’s all about me”-itis. Sorry. There’s no government cure for that.

  • DCRealist

    God forbid people yak like they are in their living rooms.

  • Al

    So if someone else smashes into my car because they are texting, killing my child, I can be happy in the knowledge that they were learning a lesson.

    Good for them. I hope my child’s life was worth it.

  • Al

    Research has been done showing that the radio is no where near as distracting as texting or making a phone call.

    Also apparently hands free calls are just as distracting, which is surprising.

    If it interests you I would recommend looking it up. It is very interesting.

  • Flu Guy

    I’ll vote yes for this… but with some guidelines around using headsets.

    And if I could – I would toss your ass in jail for a DWI and revoke your license for a year minimum… and require a sticker on your vehicle so other will see it. Drunks are the most dangerous and they keep killing our people. And most likely, if you get a DWI… you will keep getting them. Why in the hell do our courts keep letting them go out and do it again. What is wrong with the judges???

  • Al

    Surprisingly, research shows that using a hands free kit can be just as distracting.

    Which means current rules, for example in the UK, which restricts making calls except with a hands free kit, makes no sense. If one is banned, both should be.

  • Al

    Right. The authorities should do nothing to protect the public from dangerous drivers. If I want a police officer to help stop me and or my child being killed on the road, I’m suffering from “me-itus”.

    What a stupid childish argument.

    Please go back to your AM radio, you don’t want to miss the start of Glenn Beck.

  • zagatosz

    This is a totally ridiculous proposal. I live in Maryland where they outlawed using hand held phones and guess what it has created a state of law breakers. You drive around look at the cars and half the cars have people talking on the cell phone. The police are not enforcing the law because they would have to ticket half the drivers on the road. I also have never understood how talking on the cell phone is any different than talking to another person in the car, or the thousand of things you see on the road each day, people combing their hair, cutting their fingernails, stiring their coffee, eating, adjusting the radio, you get the drift. Has anyone heard of Prohibition, laws like this never work and just create an atmosphere of disrespect for the law.

  • Patricia Slice

    People drive while looking at maps while traveling. You gonna arrest those people, too? What about those GPS units? I use the GPS functions of my iPad when traveling. This is a silly proposal. Selective enforcement.

  • James Beer

    Here in the UK it is illegal to use any device unless it is in a fixed cradle. So we are allowed to use our Bluetooth headsets and touch the phone as long as it is secured. This is a good thing as it is very dangerous to drive with one hand clutching your phone let alone texting which is harder. If we cause an accident and someone dies and they find out we were having a conversation whilst driving, bluetooth headset and cradle do not matter, we will be charged with man slaughter. So thie key is to not take conversations unless you need to but the law still needs to change over here. I think Siri will help reduce the number of deaths on the road by having all your notifications read out and replied to. 
    Here is a fact. In the Blackberry blackout this year there were no deaths on the roads in Dubai for three days. A first in the country. Something to think about!

  • DrM47145

    Anyone who finds listening to the radio as distracting as using a cell phone should not be driving at all. 
    Using a cell phone implies texting, checking emails, dialing, and everything that needs more than just ears attention. That kills people. I don’t mind people killing themselves because of texting, I do mind when because of their stupidity and negligence they take somebody else with them.

  • DrM47145

    Hahaha! Excellent analogy. Who can argue that that’s where we’ve been going for decades!

    Land of the free? Not so sure…

    Forcing people to use helmets while riding a bike is nonsense, this is not. If you want to take the risk of severe head trauma by falling off a bike, that’s your choice, but you are not taking anybody else with you (or at least you are not causing any increased risks of injuring a third party). But driving while texting… you are putting other people at risk, and that’s where governments should be stepping in, to praise for common wealth being.

  • DrM47145

    I couldn’t care less about self-inflicted injuries. My problem is when because of people’s stupidity they hurt somebody else.
    Is it so hard to see the difference?

  • DCRealist

    the ntsb is recommending that cell phone use in cars (including talking) be banned. it’s well beyond regulating texting now. that’s the danger. we’re always one more law away from safety…and there’s never a stopping point.

  • DrM47145

    Wouldn’t be the first country to ban them, and believe me, it’s not that terrible; and it works, because people will limit its use significantly. Because for some people sitting in their car is a synonym to “who can I call now” (specially women and inexperienced drivers like teenagers).
    And though illegally, you can always use your hands free discretely and on a limited basis, and they know it. 
    BT devices streaming through FM work great.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Two points:

    (1) I do not believe the studies. Here’s why. I look around and see at least 1 out of every 5 cars using a phone. Some times its as much as every 1 out of 2 cars. 10 years ago nearly nobody was doing this, so it’s a 20%-50% increase. If using a phone was really equivalent to drunk driving, then it logically follows that there should be a corresponding MASSIVE increase in the number of fatal accidents. Yet there is not. In fact, it is 5%-10% lower in the last two years than it has in the fifteen to twenty years prior to that.

    (2) I have seen at least two of these studies that also included things like simply listening to talk radio or having a conversation in the car, and indicated that those too were equivalent to drunk driving. Shall we also ban having conversations in cars? Shall we ban listening to talk shows? Shall we ban CB and HAM radios? After all, they are 2-way verbal communication devices with a small speaker/mic device that you hold up to your head.

  • Cowboy Ron

    You have the right to go kill yourself, but damit, you don’t have a right to kill innocent people in the process.  

  • imajoebob

    Actually, very little research has been done about this, which is the problem.  Almost all the “data” is simply anecdotal or unsubstantiated.  Most of the so-called distracted driving accidents have other contributing, if not sole factors fir the accident.  Just because someone was talking on the phone is not proof that it was the cause, nor does it even imply it.  One could make just as substantial argument that isolating drivers will cause boredom and their minds to more readily wander or doze off, resulting in even MORE accidents.  I’d be willing to bet there are currently more of these incidents than there are involving talking on the phone.  Will we next require a passenger in the car?

    Think about all the hue and cry for eliminating cell phones entirely a few years ago because of all the claims of brain cancer – which hasn’t been supported by any thorough study.  That’s the kind of “science” we’re talking about.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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