Nanny NTSB Urges Cellphone Ban In Cars

Remember: “It’s For Your Own Good. We Know What Is Best For You. We Are Your Betters.”

(Washington Post) The National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday that all states and the District ban cellphone use behind the wheel, becoming the first federal agency to call for an outright prohibition on telephone conversations while driving.

Distracted driving, some of it due to cellphone use, contributed to an estimated 3,092 deaths in highway crashes last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

So, only some of the deaths can be attributed to distracted driving. We should ban looking at scenery, since that is dangerous. And passengers. Listening to the radio. Drinking coffee. Eating. Brushing hair. Putting on makeup. Those mirrors that allow parents to look in the back. Kids. Oh, and CAFE standards, which increase the risk of death on the road.

The NTSB has no regulatory power, but

It would be up to state legislatures, which already have banned text messaging while driving in 35 states and the District, to decide whether cellphone use should be illegal. But in the past, Congress has not been shy about leveraging its control of the federal purse strings to bring states in line on issues such as seat belts and the legal drinking age.

“The NTSB recommendation may be a game-changer,” said Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association. “States aren’t ready to support a total ban yet, but this may start the discussion.”

A bunch of states ban texting/messaging in vehicles, which is, IMO, a good idea. People have their eyes off the road, two hands on the device. I spent well over a decade dealing with wireless devices, and I’m pretty darned good at sneaking a peek, but, I usually avoided any sort of messaging, including email, while driving. Many states also require the use of handsfree devices, which I have no problem with, since this keeps both hands free. I use a Bluetooth headset 98% of the time or so when in the car.

But, we shouldn’t ban the use of phones completely (one thing to note, the ban wouldn’t include emergency personnel). Los Federales could print a few good ideas for the use of electronic device use in vehicles, like

  • use a handsfree device
  • don’t stare at your GPS
  • don’t use the phone in traffic
  • avoid long and/or deep discussions
  • avoid heated discussions
  • can the call wait? Tell the person you’ll call them back

They could urge companies to put in place rules where employees are urged to stay off the phone while on the road, and won’t be in trouble if they do not answer calls from the bosses while on the road. Back at AT&T, that was the rule. There were many times when I didn’t answer when a superior was calling. But, they won’t. They’ll nag you and try and get Congress to pass some rules, or have the White House do it by executive fiat. It’s For Your Own Good.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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5 Responses to “Nanny NTSB Urges Cellphone Ban In Cars”

  1. […] a Nanny? NTSB Pushes Cellphone Ban In CarsFrom Pirate’s Cove:Remember: “It’s For Your Own Good. We Know What Is Best For You. We Are Your […]

  2. david7134 says:

    I don’t like the goverment in my life. But these nuts on phone are getting bad. They go real slow or swerve around on the road. I see women on the interstate concentrating only on texting or doing their makeup.

    What I want is an interrupter to shut down cell phones.

  3. If we could plant a conspiracy that Los Federales are tracking peoples driving habits through their phones, I bet they’d shut them off 🙂

  4. gitarcarver says:

    According to the NTSB;s own statistics, in 2009 5,484 people died as a result of “distracted driving” which included the use of cell phones.

    In that same period 7,000 people died in car crashes due to distractions from conversations within the vehicle.

    The statistics are significant as the number of deaths due to “distracted driving” due to cell phones dropped to 3,092 in 2010 (although a different set of standards was used.)

    “Distracted by conversation” deaths remained the same. So while people are learning about the dangers of texting while driving, they aren’t learning to stop talking in vehicles.

    Obviously the government’s next step is to require “cones of silence” in cars as standard equipment.

  5. Interestingly, I know in NJ it is against the law to talk, listen to the radio, have your windows up, and anything else that interferes with the ability to hear an emergency vehicle.

    If they were really worried about traffic fatalities, they might stop letting illegals buy cars, purchase insurance, and have DLs.

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