NTSB Chairman on Cellphone Ban for Drivers

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board released recommendations on Tuesday for a national ban on cellphone use while driving. The ban would also urge states to prevent drivers from using hand-held devices. It is said to be one of the most far-reaching efforts to date. "Every year, new devices are being released," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said. "People are tempted to update their Facebook page, they are tempted to tweet, as if sitting at a desk. But they are driving a car."

Hersman tells The Takeaway why Americans need to turn off their phones when they get behind the wheel.


Deborah Hersman

Comments [13]

mike from fort knox ky

all have the right to voice how they feel and for me i am so glad at 45 i have a two y/o and for some reason i seem to pay more attention to the large amount of people with there cell phones stuck to there ears.almost makes me nervous as i have had people cut me off run red lights drift all over the road while on there phones.i am all for it.and the diff when your talking to a passanger is you are not looking at them to talk to them while driving.where as your always looking at your cell..but the biggest thing is seeing cops enforce the law i live in kentucky with the txting ban but has yet to see anyone get busted for it

Dec. 21 2011 09:53 AM
llevin1 from Ft Lauderdale

The NTSB refuses to acknowledge the king is NAKED. Instead of a difficult to enforce ban on cell phones, how about teaching people to drive.
Like countries with significantly lower accident rates, a mandatory 12 month driver education program aimed at actually teaching people to drive will have a better effect on the acident rate than a cell phone ban.
Coupled with an 18 year old minimum age the death rate would decline significantly.
Why not recommend these two easy steps before tilting at a huge windmill.

Dec. 15 2011 10:08 AM

I sure hope the politicians who are thinking of changing current laws so they will now start to allow robocalls and such to cell phones will stop and take a minute to think through THIS aspect of the whole issue....

Dec. 15 2011 04:14 AM
hastings from manhattan

It's counter-intuitive: you think handsfree cellphone driving is no different from talking to someone in the car, but it is. Our brains haven't evolved to drive and talk to a disembodied voice. Someone in the car can even be a positive thing (depending on who it is of course) for an extra pair of eyes on the road. The science has been out for almost two years, but people just can't seem to believe it: see page 8 sidebar


Dec. 14 2011 11:33 PM
Patricia from Cliffside Park, NJ

Cell phones should be banned from use in vehicles. When did we all become so important that we are certain the world will end if we can't be reached for half an hour? Personally, I enjoy not being reachable when I'm in the car . . . ah, peace!

Dec. 14 2011 10:17 AM
troy way from Detroit

What's the difference in distraction betw talking on a hands free phone, and talking to your passenger?

Dec. 14 2011 09:38 AM
Raymond Fratto from Pittsburgh, PA

Should we ban the radio in cars? CD and MP3 players? How about talking and even eating or drinking? Hands free is one thing, but an altogether ban? I think there are lots of idiots out there that will cause accidents because they were texting, but they're likely to do the same one way or another. How about putting pressure on car manufacturers to build in bluetooth support for phones so that at least we can talk. It won't be long before someone creates a better text to audio reader so that at least we can listen to incoming messages. Let's not ban them before then.

Why aren't emails included in this? Does nobody send email anymore?

Dec. 14 2011 09:37 AM

The technology is already here to allows us to text and call without using our hands. Just add voice to text and hands-free phone operation to car radios. You don't even have to take your phone our of your pocket or purse. Your car's radio can just pair up with your phone as soon as you come in. Anyone else in your car can handle their own phones.

Texting was created to allow conversations during important meetings. But there's no reason why both texters need to actually type. The person not in a meeting -or a car- should be able to speak-to-text. (I'm killing the English language here.)

Dec. 14 2011 09:27 AM
E V Berger from Manhattan

Ideally people could curb this behavior themselves, but many (most?) will not. How about adapting our roads/highways to the reality. "Talk & Text" areas should be added allowing drivers to easily access to pull off the road (without exiting the highway). There should be signage in advance so drivers will know that one is coming up. Add "Talk & Text" to Service Area signs & "Beautiful View Areas" . To remind drivers to use them for Talk & Text.

Dec. 14 2011 09:25 AM
Will Walton from Miami Beach, FL

Why haven't the insurance companies locked this issue down with policy cancellations for those "busted" while texting? Americans, on average, can't drive worth a damn to begin with. Indeed, what they don't teach in Drivers Ed. is ample evidence...

Dec. 14 2011 09:20 AM
Matt Laurence from Jamaica Plain

I think the reality is that there is a wide range of ability to multitask, and even to drive. I think before we ban devices with valid uses (think maps and GPS), we need to better test drivers abilities behind the wheel. I think proper testing of drivers, and regular retesting, should be the first step. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege that is currently doled out far too easily to people who do not have the appropriate abilities.

Dec. 14 2011 09:16 AM
Gerald MacDonald from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

We've had a ban on cellphone use while driving for a few years here in Nova Scotia, Canada. It's a no-brainer. It makes for safer roads.

It is not a liberty or freedom issue. It is a safety issue. There were plenty of studies that confirmed that cellphone use endangers the lives of not only the cellphone user but innocent people in other vehicles.

Great show as always!

Dec. 14 2011 09:12 AM
John Purinton from WI

I see more and more police officers driving around with cell phones plastered to their ears; this might be impossible to break as a national habit (helmets on motorcycles)

Dec. 14 2011 07:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.