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NTSB Recommends Complete Cell Phone Driver Ban-Including Hands Free

hands-free cell ban?
(Photo by Anel Fernandez/Cover/Getty Images)

Following the DOT (Department of Transportation) issuing a new rule banning interstate truckers and bus drivers (and other large commercials vehicle drivers) from using hand held cell phones, the National Transportation Safety Board wants to go another step farther.

Claiming data from various accidents the NTSB researched involving hands-free phones, they are recommending a complete ban on any and all cellphone use in any and all vehicles, on all roadways.  And this would include hands free.   The NTSB, in a press release Tuesday, said a number of serious accidents, some involving fatalities, have involved drivers who were using hands-free devices.  From the NTSB press release:

Earlier this fall, following the investigation of a 2010 crash in Munfordville, Kentucky, a truck-tractor crossed the median of I-44 and struck a 15-passenger van killing 11 people, the NTSB called for a complete ban on the use of cell phones by all drivers holding a commercial driver’s license, except in emergencies. According to interviews conducted after the crash, the truck driver normally used a hands-free device.

  The NTSB says they have been concerned as far back ans 2006 about the distraction caused by hands-free devices.   There has been considerable research, and statistics about accidents and issues caused by cellphone use by drivers.  That has led to the development and implementation of hands-free devices, as well as laws that only allow hands-free use in most states while driving.   However, little widespread research is out there about hands-free issues, although some studies have been done. But while the public has been largely tolerant of banning hand held units, banning hands-free could result in a ‘revolt’ by drivers; and will almost surely create a firestorm of arguments that the Feds are again becoming the nanny state.   It’s reminiscent of the motorcycle helmet law:  it makes sense, but how far do you go to restrict a person’s personal freedom?  What do you think?  leave us a commnet.

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