Agency Pushes Ban On Driver Use Of Electronic Devices

Posted on December 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a recommendation to the 50 states and District of Columbia to ban drivers from using any portable electronics in a vehicle, including hands-free devices.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said this recommendation also would apply to communications technologies such as Bluetooth, but that the NTSB is not providing a list of “acceptable” devices for use in vehicles by drivers. The organization is leaving development and enforcement of actual laws up to the individual states.

Matt Howard, CEO of ZoomSafer, said that the proposed ban on cell phone use while driving is easier said than done. "Laws alone don't work to change driver behavior," Howard said in an email. "This is where technology becomes part of the solution -- not just part of the problem."

A 2010 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that laws banning cell phone use may increase crashes because "text-happy drivers respond to a ban by lowering their phones to their laps to hide from the cops, [and therefore] their eyes are also lowered away from the road."

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