NTSB Recommends Ban on Driver Cell Phone Use

By: AP; Deneige Broom Email
By: AP; Deneige Broom Email

Tallahassee, FL -- December 14, 2011 --
by Deneige Broom

The National Transportation Safety Board wants your car to be completely phone free. That's right no Bluetooths or earpieces either. Eyewitness News reporter Deneige Broom hit the streets to see what you think.

Everyday we get into the car, we decide what we'll let distract us. Whether it's makeup --- food --- or the phone.

It's that last one the National Transportation Safety Board is trying to drop from the list.

Alexandra Wiseman says, "I don't think it's a good idea to not be able to be on the phone."

Sisters Ashley and Alexandra Wiseman look alike --- speak alike and text alike.

Ashley estimates she sends hundreds of text messages everyday.

But if NTSB gets its way --- the texting duo won't even be able to talk with a hands free device while driving.

Ashley Wiseman says, "If you have it installed in your car and just talking like you normally would, that's not an issue, there's no difference in having someone in your car and talking to them."

Alexandra Wiseman adds,"A person knows their boundaries and if they can talk on the phone. I don't think the state should regulate that."
But NTSB and some statistics don't necessarily agree.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says one in six fatal crashes was caused by a distracted driver.

Florida Highway Patrol says from January through October, more than 3,000 of the state's 171,000 crashes were caused by an electronic distraction.

Erik Washington says, "I still can wait though until I get to my destination to answer my text. I can't stop in the middle of traffic."
Washington is heading out of town and promised not to text and drive.

But not everyone has made that pledge and NTSB wants to do it for them.


WASHINGTON (AP) - December 13, 2011 -

Federal accident investigators recommended states ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in emergencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation followed a finding by the board that the initial collision in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year was caused by the inattention of a 19 year-old-pickup driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident.

The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured.

The NTSB's recommendation makes an exception for use of phones and other devices in emergency situations.

The board doesn't have the power to impose regulations, but its recommendations carry significant weight with lawmakers.

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