Today, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a full ban on the use of cellphones and text messaging devices while driving because it's simply too dangerous. Hallelujah! It's about time!
In the last 10 years, the NTSB has sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices while driving, including bans for beginning drivers, commercial truckers and school bus drivers.
In a study of commercial drivers, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found a "safety-critical event" is 163 times more likely if a driver is texting, e-mailing or accessing the Internet, reports CNN.
But, the newest recommendation would ban non-emergency phone calls and texting by drivers of every vehicle on the nation's roads and highways -- disallowing both hands-free as well as hand-held devices.
An estimated 3,092 traffic fatalities in 2010 were caused by distracted drivers, says the NTSB. More than one in six drivers send text messages while driving and almost half of drivers who are less than 25 years old are texting and driving.
"This is becoming the new DUI," said Robert Sumwalt, a member of the safety board, reported USA Today. "It's becoming an epidemic."
There are 35 states plus the District of Columbia that ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. But, no state bans all cellphone for drivers. Nine states and D.C. ban drivers from using handheld cellphones while driving.
STATES WILL DETERMINE CELLPHONE BAN
It is up to each individual state to determine whether it will follow the NTSB's recommendation.
"No call, no text, no update is worth a human life," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairperson of the NTSB, quoted the New York Times.
Who is going to disagree with that statement? Fools only.
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