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NTSB Recommends Ban on Driver Cell Phone Use
AP ^ | 12/13/2011, 11:53ET | Joan Lowy (AP)

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ban; cellphones; ntsb; privacy
As usual, when we have a few bad apples, the Government wants to burn the entire orchard.
1 posted on 12/13/2011 9:44:20 AM PST by alancarp
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To: alancarp

They should just ban automobiles.

Cars kill 30,000 to 40,000 people every year in the US.


2 posted on 12/13/2011 9:46:57 AM PST by jq2
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To: alancarp

Texting, not talking, is the problem.


3 posted on 12/13/2011 9:49:23 AM PST by LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
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To: alancarp
"The board doesn't have the power to impose regulations..."

If only the EPA, et al...

4 posted on 12/13/2011 9:49:44 AM PST by alancarp (Liberals are all for shared pain... until they're included in the pain group.)
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To: alancarp

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?


5 posted on 12/13/2011 9:52:48 AM PST by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
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To: jq2

“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.


6 posted on 12/13/2011 9:55:51 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (To fix government, we need a rocket scientist. Oh, wait we have one!)
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To: alancarp

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.


7 posted on 12/13/2011 9:59:16 AM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: alancarp

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?


8 posted on 12/13/2011 10:02:09 AM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: alancarp

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.


9 posted on 12/13/2011 10:02:49 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: KrisKrinkle

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?


10 posted on 12/13/2011 10:07:37 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: theBuckwheat
Do we want to be cited for even listening to a podcast via earbuds?

If you are driving with earbuds in, damn right I want you ticketed.

11 posted on 12/13/2011 10:09:44 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: WoofDog123
STRONGLY Agree.

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.

12 posted on 12/13/2011 10:12:32 AM PST by AF_Blue ("America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad ass speed." - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936)
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To: alancarp
When this accident occurred, Missouri already had a law against drivers under 21 texting while driving.

Bizarre law, I know, but the fact is what he was doing was already illegal.

So how would another law change anything?

13 posted on 12/13/2011 10:13:10 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Holding our flawed politicians to higher standards than the enemy’s politicians guarantees they win)
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To: Notary Sojac
"If you are driving with earbuds in, damn right I want you ticketed. "

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.

14 posted on 12/13/2011 10:19:25 AM PST by Jakarta ex-pat
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To: alancarp
I knew this thread would wander down the anecdotal experiences path...

It is an undeniable fact that accident rates have actually FALLEN over the past 15+ years. I am not just spouting made up statistics on this either. According to the NHTSA, in 2009 there were 5.5 million police-reported crashes. In 2003, there were 6.3 million crashes, and in 1997 there were 6.7 million crashes. The trends are distinctly downward over the years. This is an inescapable truth.

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.

Source

Click CRASHES link in search categories.

15 posted on 12/13/2011 10:19:51 AM PST by GreenAccord (Bacon Akbar)
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To: Notary Sojac
If you are driving with earbuds in, damn right I want you ticketed.

Should deaf people drive?

16 posted on 12/13/2011 10:23:50 AM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: Jakarta ex-pat
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.

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.

17 posted on 12/13/2011 10:30:03 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: Glenn
Funny you should ask.

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.

18 posted on 12/13/2011 10:33:32 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Liberalism: Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory!!)
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To: Notary Sojac
But the ticket won't stop the behavior.

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.

Keep smiling,

Philip

19 posted on 12/13/2011 10:36:05 AM PST by Jakarta ex-pat
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To: GreenAccord

“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.


20 posted on 12/13/2011 10:39:35 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: Jakarta ex-pat

I have this image of setting up a target range next to a high -pedestrian traffic area. It seems to fit the ‘ok to drive drinking JD’ model in terms of being likely to kill some folks.


21 posted on 12/13/2011 10:41:43 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: alancarp

In ground school, they teach you “never drop the airplane to fly the radio”. No cell phone call in the world is so important that it should interfere with a driver’s attention to the road, but with that in mind (and assuming the driver stays heads up), I have no problem with use of a handsfree device while on a voice call. Texting is another matter and should be banned because it diverts the driver’s sight from the road to the texting device.


22 posted on 12/13/2011 11:02:17 AM PST by Fast Moving Angel (Proud Right-Wing Trash -- stick it, Alec.)
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To: Netizen

If my cell phone rings when I’m driving, I answer it. But I have good reason to. I’m on 24 hour emergency call for four small public utilities. It’s the only reason I have a cell phone, and those utilities, and their management are the only ones who have my number. Calls are usually only a matter of a few seconds.


23 posted on 12/13/2011 11:03:37 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: WoofDog123
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).

The broad trend of a declining amount of traffic accidents, when observed against the explosion of in-car cell phone use is fundamentally interpretable as breaking any causation linkage between the two.

Secondly, cell-phone usage is often unreported or unreliably reported, especially in earlier years of your statistical ‘evidence.’

The reporting of cell phone in early years is irrelevant. The statistics of declining accident rates while compared with the dramatically increased amount of cell phone use belies the anecdotal, observed evidence people seem wont to retell. In 1997, cell phone use was unarguably a fraction of the use occurring today. Yet, people are oh so quick to decry their use while driving as some sort of obvious hazard.

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.

It seems you are making my point. The universal totals of reported accidents in the face of massively increased cell phone use (in-car) is all anyone needs to observe to compare the relationship between the two. I can't help but equate this to the topic of global warming. It seems as though you could make your argument that, despite decreasing temperatures since 1998, they'd have decreased even more so had carbon emissions been kept in check. I am certainly of the opinion that even though CO2 emissions are still increasing, our temperatures have not seen increases (and even declined) over the past 12+ years, thus providing prima facie evidence that C02 is not a determining factor. I am stating there is the same causal relationship for cell phone use and accidents.

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.

While everyone has observed poor driving - I just don't make the immediate link that cell phone use is the cause. Indeed, you're not reporting how many people are driving along just fine while also on a phone.

Here's an idea: What should be policed is the poor driving.

24 posted on 12/13/2011 11:06:41 AM PST by GreenAccord (Bacon Akbar)
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To: alancarp

DRIVING CELL PHONE USERS RECOMMEND BAN ON NTSB!


25 posted on 12/13/2011 11:07:50 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: alancarp

Screw the NTSB. They cannot legislate according to the Constitution and this is an issue that should be up to the individual states.

That way, the more Commie-type states will ban it and the free ones (like mine) will not.


26 posted on 12/13/2011 11:08:30 AM PST by Allegra (Hey! Stop looking at my tagline like that.)
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To: alancarp
Better: Defund and eliminate the NHTSB as a classic case of waste, fraud, and abuse.
27 posted on 12/13/2011 11:21:28 AM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: GreenAccord
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.

It's an interesting observation and argument. However it raises my curiosity about what has happened to the number of drivers and miles driven across those years. While I would imagine that simple population growth is enough to propel the number of drivers upward, I'm wondering about the effect of skyrocketing gas prices on miles driven per driver. I'll have to look around for some stats on that.

28 posted on 12/13/2011 11:53:52 AM PST by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: WoofDog123

“Maybe people who don’t see a difference between CB and cell talking haven’t spent much time on trucker bands?”

Maybe. I’ll admit I haven’t. But I don’t advocate banning CB talking even if cell phone talking is banned. I was just wondering what “they” might do.

As to “expected to be attentive to every last thing said” in a phone conversation, I have been remiss. And on the rare occasions I’ve used the cell phone while driving, I’ve been known to say “Hold on, I’ve got to drive.” Several times I’ve said “Hold on, I’ve got to pull over.”


29 posted on 12/13/2011 12:05:28 PM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: MasterGunner01
"Better: Defund and eliminate the NHTSB as a classic case of waste, fraud, and abuse"

I am actually gonna take the opposite tack here... While I would definitely eliminate the Dept of Transportation IF I Were King For A Day, I would retain the NTSB attached to some other agency.

This incident is a fairly rare case of them going outside their usual boundaries, but the NTSB is the best in the world as what they do: accident cause determination. This government function saves lives, and has for decades now. It's also an operation that is unfeasible to perform at the state level, and impossible commercially.

So I dunno - maybe a government Transportation Safety Agency to hold the Traffic Control, [a reduced] FAA, and the NTSB while scrubbing virtually everything else in the DOT, but this group does need to be preserved. It is normally one of the few government operations that is worth our tax dollars.

That said, they are in the business of issuing reports and making recommendations. Elected officials are then charged with enacting the recommendations (or not), and that's the proper structure, IMHO.

30 posted on 12/13/2011 12:43:40 PM PST by alancarp (Liberals are all for shared pain... until they're included in the pain group.)
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To: alancarp

I been in two accidents involving some jackass on a cell phone, one of them near fatal.

Studies suggest that cell phone use impares a persons ability to drive to the same extent as driving under the influence.

Yet I HATE to see more laws on the books.

Just make it legal to beat the crap out of someone if they hit you due to cell use.


31 posted on 12/13/2011 1:11:15 PM PST by Carbonsteel
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To: Carbonsteel

I’m good with that. Meanwhile, keep your head on a swivel... holidays are worse.


32 posted on 12/13/2011 1:24:23 PM PST by alancarp (Liberals are all for shared pain... until they're included in the pain group.)
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To: KrisKrinkle; All

This proposal would also ban listening to iPods and even hands-free cell phone use.

if any states pass bills like this, I will flagrantly and commonly violate the law.

Period.

I will listen to my music. And I will use my phone hands-free. Never handheld, but hands-free.


33 posted on 12/13/2011 1:32:17 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: alancarp

It is getting difficult to tell the difference between a cell phone user and a drunk/impaired driver. Poor lane discipline, erratic speed control, tailgating, unawareness of surroundings, all pretty much the same.

I’m sure everyone in this forum will insist they’re not affected by the distraction. I’ll just keep dodging them and let the voice mail catch the call . . .


34 posted on 12/13/2011 3:38:44 PM PST by BraveMan
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To: alancarp

Or, Congress COULD strip all federal agencies and departments from issuing regulations that have the force of law. Congress gave them the authority and Congress can rescind it.

If the regulation must have the force of law, it should have passed both legislative houses and should have been signed by the President.


35 posted on 12/13/2011 4:31:45 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: Zeppo

If I may, look at it this way, this time without statistics but let’s apply some common sense.

So we may not know if drivers are driving more, there are almost certainly more drivers in the US than in 1996 (I’m choosing 15 years ago since it’s a decade and a half). I believe the US population has increased by about 15%. The actual amount of increase isn’t important, just that we’ve certainly experienced an increase.

With more drivers, it’s reasonable to expect that at the very least, the total miles driven in the US has at least been stable (more likely increasing). It would be hard to argue that the aggregate miles driven has shrank. Indeed, even if the economic downturn had a drastic effect on miles driven, the trend of reported accidents has been on the decline year to year over the past 15 years. The trend didn’t suddenly drop in 2008 after years of increase.

So, with the assumption of a flat curve of aggregate mileage driven, would you not agree that the use of cell-phones in vehicles has sharply, massively increased over that 15 year period? Are there 2 times the number of cell phone users in their cars now versus 1997? What if it’s 10 times? (And I wasn’t going to use statistics!) It turns out there’s about 7 times the number of cell phone subscribers in the US over that period. (44 mil v. 300 mil per infoplease.com)

The point is that there are substantially more cell phones now than 15 years ago. In light of this, there is simply no way that with millions more people using cell phones in cars that phones are causing the accidents that we’re being told they cause.

As I stated in an earlier post in this thread, cell phones are the CO2 of the accident realm. That is, with many more times the number of cell users, the accident rates haven’t increased accordingly. As we’ve seen with global temperatures, if there were 7 times the CO2 concentrations, and yet temperatures were declining (as they actually have since 1998!), rational people would conclude that CO2 has NOTHING (ok, very, VERY little) to do with global temperatures. It certainly wouldn’t warrant the alarm we get from AGWers.

I make the same assertion on cell phone use in cars. It’s simply hysteria use to manipulate our daily lives.

(Sorry this reply got so long.)


36 posted on 12/13/2011 7:46:11 PM PST by GreenAccord (Bacon Akbar)
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To: alancarp

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”- Groucho Marx


37 posted on 12/15/2011 12:14:48 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: rwfromkansas

Yeah, why don’t they make it against the law to exceed the speed limit? I saw a headline on the NTSB recommendation saying people want to stay connected, “... even at 70 mph”. 70 ? HAH! ( That’s a Gene Wilder “HAH!” ) Well I do try to keep it down to 70 in the 55 zones on the Chicago area interstates. This puts me in the lower middle of the velocity spectrum. When the limit goes to 70 down on I-65 in Indiana, this is interpreted by most to mean, “as fast as you please”. They do seem to pull over people once in a while for 80+, but its really hard to say that the speed limit is “enforced”.

So now, I have “manufacturer installed” bluetooth in my 2011 model year car. Maybe I’ll have to learn to talk with my mouth closed. I have to recall the words of David Hilbert, “Nobody can ever evict us from this paradise that Cantor has created for us.”


38 posted on 12/17/2011 12:13:25 AM PST by dr_lew
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