Should Automobile Drivers be Banned from Using Mobile Phones?
The National Transportation Safety Board has called for a ban on all cell phone use while driving. CNN reports that if states adopt the NTSB’s recommendation, any non-emergency calls and all texting while driving would be banned. The ban has been suggested as a way to protect against distracted driving, which studies show to be more dangerous than drunk driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a study indicating that each day approximately 13.5 million drivers use hand held devices while driving. Nearly 3,100 deaths were linked to distracted driving car accidents last year, though that number might be much higher. Many drivers do not admit to using cell phones, making it difficult for investigators to determine whether or not distracted driving plays a role in an auto collision. As a result, it has become routine in some areas for investigators to seek orders preserving smart phones as evidence.
The NTSB stated that cell phone laws would not be enough. They need to be accompanied by education and strict enforcement. Individual states make their own laws regarding the use of hand held devices while driving. 35 states ban texting while driving, 30 ban cell phone use for novice drivers, and 10 ban all hand held cell phone use.