Texting, emailing or talking on a cellphone while driving a motor vehicle is simply too dangerous to be allowed. Federal safety investigators declared last month that such activity should be banned. All states were urged to impose total bans except for emergencies. The unanimous recommendation by the five-member National Transportation Safety Board would make an exception for devices deemed to aid driver safety such as GPS navigation systems. A group representing state highway safety offices called the recommendation “a game-changer.” Hopefully, that will prove to be the case.
Unfortunately, most the states don’t appear to be ready to support a total ban at this point. Hopefully, this move by the Board will start a needed discussion. Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, believes that it will. NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman acknowledged the recommendation would be unpopular with many people and that complying would involve changing what has become ingrained behavior for all too many Americans. While the NTSB doesn’t have the power to impose restrictions, its recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and both federal and state lawmakers.
Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, while nine states and D.C. bar hand-held cellphone use. Thirty states ban all cellphone use for beginning drivers. But enforcement is generally not a high priority, and no states ban the use of hands-free devices for all drivers.
Source: Associated Press
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