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Senior Advisor

NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

Following the infamous Lees Summitt, MO crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unanimously recommended that drivers not be allowed to use cell phones, even with hands-free configurations.  Only electronics built into the vehicle for the purpose of aiding drinving would be permitted.  (I don't know if this means GPS or not).

 

"To the 50 states and the District of Columbia:
(1) Ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers; (2) use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration model of high visibility enforcement to support these bans; and (3) implement targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and enforcement, and to warn them of the dangers associated with the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices while driving. (H-11-XX)" 

 

The NTSB has no power to make law, thank god.  The States and Congress make laws and I certainly hope this never is passed into law.

 

We get this knee jerk reaction every time there is an accident like this.  We've had the same thing about CB radios.  We amateur radio operators are always defending our use while mobile,   I think if anyone needs to take a time out, it the the law enforcement community that has who knows how many radios, computers and telephones in their cars.  Pilots use radios while flying all the time.

 

The ultimate conclusion of this is that your rendering truck driver can not use a business band radio while driving.  You concrete truck, has to pull over to get directions.  The fuel delivery truck can't take your order enroute but has to call in.

 

Frankly, in my opinion, some deaths is part of the way we live.  I am not willing to change every thing I do so that risk is reduced to zero.  It's easy for a toothless agency like NTSB to rave on about banning cell phones.  But if the issue is distration, you can be assured that you can not smoke, eat an apple, drink coffee or look at a road map while driving.  And there will likely be photo enforcement.

 

Now, if they can get people to quit running stop signs I might be a little more receptive to NtSB wishful thinking.  Until then, I'll hang up when they call. 

28 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

I use my smartphone to converse handsfree with Bluetooth.. To me, it is not different than conversing with a passenger, maybe even less distracting. Several months ago, I bought an upgraded Bluetooth, so that my GPS in the phone would speak into my earpiece. It is a wonderful device. I truly need GPS when I travel to outlying meetings, or am looking for an appointment in an unfamiliar place. How woild the law enforcement officer differentiate whether you are one GPS or using the phone? The next step is an app that is already available, which reads your texts out loud. Can already dictate texts verbally, but do have to hit SEND to transmit them. My Phoenix stays in my bag on the passenger side floor, so I am not tempted. I think a conversation is less of a distraction to me than a book on tape ( CD, now), since the content aspect requires more attention to absorb. Some protections can be built in...for example, the hardwired GPS in my dash won't let me navigate, except to hit HOME. The system will then automatically give me guidance to our house. There is no reason that similar system limits could not be built into any phone that knows it is moving too fast to be on foot, by gauging changes in it's GPS location. Like you, I do not think this is necessarily a great idea...but, something does need to be done. We have known a person who died from an accident that happened while she was on her phone. No one thinks it will happen to them...but, it happens to someone.
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Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

this is bigger than cell phones jim its about control. as of jan 1 all truck drivers are banned from cell use unless its hands free- the fine is 2750 dollars for the first offence and goes up with the last time a lifetime license suspension.the FMCSA came up with this and they started out as a TOOTHLESS agency. this is the same outfit that said it was a-ok to let mexican trucks into the country after CONGRESS said no .---so these agencies of the govt. pass a rule---NOT A LAW LIKE CONGRESS HAS TO AND PRESIDENT SIGN--and the lemmings fall to the sea just like they are supposed to

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Honored Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

If you follow the yellow brick road, and draw back that shiny curtain, you will very likely see that the operating force behind this push is the insurance industry. Often, a behavior that costs Insurance companies money, even if it costs society as a whole some of its freedoms, is rooted in saving insurers on claims payouts. I happen to agree with requiring handsfree devices while driving. I do think texting, unless it can be done audibly with voice synthizer apps, ought to be banned. My in- dash GPS screen has a mysterious button labelled " Media". I have never tried to see what it would do, but Ihave seen drivers in the next lane on I -95 watching movies or playing vidoe games while behind the wheel, moving at 70- ish mph. The screen glow at night is pretty obvious, and color changes at a fast rate are not GPS screens. Not many drivers are trained nearly as well as the worst pilot. Young drivers are most at risk from distracting behaviors. In the case of professionals like train engineers or bus drivers, I think they owe their passengers, who are unwitting as to what's going on in the cab, their undivided attention from personal chitchat. I have enough sense to turn the radio off in unfamiliar territory with a lot of vehicles and multiple lanes with changes necessary, to tune out at least one distraction. I will tell a passenger to please excuse me, but I need to concentrate on traffic. I will conclude a call, even on the Bluetooth, when conditions warrant. A worse safety problem, from my experience dealing with elderly family members, and observing others on the road, and seeing too many who just didn't know when to quit, is drivers impaired by age. Asking for a law to cause elders to pass proficiency tests, with AARP wielding its lobbying power, is like grabbing the third rail, though.
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Senior Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

In my opinion, we have too many administrative agencies that want to embed and broaden their power by increasing their responsiblity an budget.

 

I think the NTSB should provide a risk analysis and let us make up our own mind.  NTSB should make no recommendations at all.  They can say that analysis concludes that certain behavior results in certain results and let us figure it out without them telling us what laws we should pass. 

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Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

On the one hand, I've been put in danger more by drivers hamming on the phone than any other reason. On the other hand I am against more intrusions on everyday life. I like the idea of phones automatically shutting off at a certain speed, but that would then prevent you from calling in an erratic driver, unless you first found a place to pull over and report them.
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Senior Advisor

re: Lets face it

There are a huge bunch of traffic accidents caused by distracted drivers on cell phones both talking and texting.

 

It is a big public safety concern and people don't have enough common sense to self regulate.

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Honored Advisor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

We use two different setups, both involving Bleutooth technology and GPS systems.  In Mike's Ram, we retrofitted a Bluetooth connection for $200 when we bought the truck. 

 

It allows him to touch one button on the dahs, to answer his phone, and the stereo sound is overridden.  Same thind happens when the GPS needs to announce a direction. 

 

My car ingtegrates all these sounds, but I more often utilize the more up-to- date navigation program in my smartphone. 

 

This "integration" still limits the number of sensory inputs to the same number as if I am listening to the CD player or radio, so I don't see it as more demanding neurologically, unless the interactiveness of conversation is deemed more of a strain on the brain thatn just listening.  Since i usually sing along with the stereo, I doubt so

 

Hey, I am probably one of the few people you know who still drops the window and listens - as well as looking for - the train at a crossing, too.  With some things, you only have to make the ONE mistake....

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Veteran Advisor

Over-reaching

 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: NTSB wants to ban cell phones for drivers

According to the experts, talking on a cell phone while driving is as dangerous if not more dangerous than driving under the influence.  A study conducted by the University of Utah tested four driving groups:  no distractions, talking on a hand held cell phone, talking on a hands free cell phone, and intoxicated to the .08 blood alcohol content level.  The study had each group follow a simulated pace car that braked intermittenly.  Only two groups had participants that wrecked into the pace car.  They were from the hand held cell phone group and the hands free cell phone group.  None of the drunk drivers wrecked into the pace car.

 

We all know that drunk driving is banned or against the law.  Why shouldn't something as dangerous if not more dangerous than drunk driving be against the law as well?

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