Skip to comments.NTSB Recommends Ban on Driver Cell Phone Use
Posted on 12/13/2011 9:44:08 AM PST by alancarp
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at federalnewsradio.com ...
They should just ban automobiles.
Cars kill 30,000 to 40,000 people every year in the US.
Texting, not talking, is the problem.
If only the EPA, et al...
They can ban it all they want, but unless the cops actually pull people over and ticket them, they will keep doing it. Its illegal in our state already but I still see people on cell phones while driving, all the time! So, what good is the ban?
“Cars kill 30,000 to 40,000 people every year in the US.”
Drunk driving is responsible for 30% of all auto deaths. Sober driving is responsible for the other 70%.
Looks like we should stop driving sober.
More land of the used-to-be free news.
The sanction should be on ‘distracted driving’, not on a specific distraction. Do we want to be cited for even listening to a podcast via earbuds? I don’t think so.
Do they intend to ban Hands Free cell phone use to? If all cell phone communication is banned, what about CB radios?
If I’ve got a cell phone up against my ear, they can see it, but if I’m talking hands free, or texting with the phone below eye sight, how will they tell? Will there be some kind of detection device to let them know a cell phone is in use?
ignoring the political/philisophical prism many see this through, it is my direct and constant experience on US interstates that the majority of odd or erratic driving is by people who, when I pass them, either have a phone on their ear or are looking at something in their lap/hand.
The number of people who believe they drive well talking on a cell is much higher than the number that actually can allocate proper attention and response-time.
CB gets thrown out there a lot as a red herring but I think a big part of the issue is that a cell conversation is generally just that, a conversation wihtout long pauses expected or interpreted well. CB chatter is when-you-can, if someone takes 30 seconds to comment back, there isn’t a negative response. If CB etiquette expected you to respond immediately when addressed, and you were expected to be attentive to every last thing said, then yes, you would have seen a problem a long time ago.
Maybe people who don’t see a difference between CB and cell talking haven’t spent much time on trucker bands?
If you are driving with earbuds in, damn right I want you ticketed.
I was driving on I-95 and saw a car drifting between lanes ahead of me. I was thinking "drunk driver" - no such luck. When the driver manuevered the car to the right lane and I passed, I saw he had his shiny new iPad propped on the steering wheel and was engrossed in reading something.
Bizarre law, I know, but the fact is what he was doing was already illegal.
So how would another law change anything?
I wouldn't even ticket you if you were high on cocaine and drinking Jack Daniels.
However, IF you caused an accident, or worse still a fatality, I would throw the book at you.
Now, let's think about that for a second. It is inarguable that in 1997, car phones (as we used to call them), while not rare, certainly were not around in the numbers we see today (even though we simply call them cell phones now). So let's agree that cell phone use (while driving) has increased as cell phones have become nearly ubiquitous among drivers. While not in the hands of every driver, we can be utterly certain there are exponentially more cell phones now than 15 years ago.
Since there are more cell phones in driver's hands, and they're so amazingly dangerous, why haven't accidents gone up? And this is using the RAW accident totals, not driver-mile rates. The 5.5 million accidents in 2009 would represent a much greater reduction when accounting for the increased number of drivers and miles driven.
So again, I ask, if cell phones are so elementarily causing accidents, why haven't there been more accidents as these devices have become common-place in the driver's hands?
The answer is simple. They really don't cause more accidents.
Click CRASHES link in search categories.
Should deaf people drive?
An interesting response and I have to credit you with consistency at least.
I'm sure the family of that "fatality" would be greatly consoled by knowing that I had gotten sent to the slammer after the accident, rather than a ticket before.
One of my coworkers is deaf and she has described to me the exercises and routines she has developed to keep her alertness and situational awareness at a high level while driving or operating other potentially dangerous machinery.
I would gladly ride shotgun with her, as compared to with some of the yammering drivers I have seen exhibiting all the situational awareness of a concussed amoeba.
However, if it is proven you caused a death by texting,drinking etc, and were sent to jail for life without parole, that WOULD send a message.
“So again, I ask, if cell phones are so elementarily causing accidents, why haven’t there been more accidents as these devices have become common-place in the driver’s hands?
The answer is simple. They really don’t cause more accidents. “
Despite pulling up some statistics, you have no idea how to interpret them. Many things cause accidents, and you have not discussed trends in known accident causes which contributed to the reduction (clearly something is happening less). Secondly, cell-phone usage is often unreported or unreliably reported, especially in earlier years of your statistical ‘evidence.’
Just because all factors in accidents have been reduced over a decade doesn’t mean some factors aren’t more prevalent than they were, especially considering how much cell usage has grown in the last decade.
More generally, anyone who has observed the erratic driving from cell usage in person could tell you that that behavior absolutely reduces reaction times and can only contribute to increasing, not reducing, accidents. To argue otherwise is laughable on the face of it, but I do understand that many people do just that. I wonder how many of them drive while talking on cells regularly.
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