Prosposed Total Ban On Using Cell Phones While Driving
Last month, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proposed a total ban on the use of cell phones while driving. This ban includes text messaging and talking (even with headsets or portable speakers).
According to government studies, “distracted driving” caused by cell phone use is as dangerous as drunk driving (DUI).
In 2010, over 3,000 fatalities were caused by distracted driving. The proposed ban calls for enforcement of anti-cell phone laws that would be as aggressive as seatbelt and driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement.
Only individual states can enact legislation to regulate the use of cell phones while driving. Therefore, the NTSB proposal is only a recommendation to the states. However, few states at this time have acknowledged interest in a total ban on cell phone use.
Recently, Pennsylvania passed a ban on text messaging while driving that goes into effect in March of 2012. New Jersey has a ban on the use of cell phones for any purpose without the use of a hands-free device. Proposed New Jersey legislation has increased the penalties to include license suspension and jail-time.