NTSB Recommends Banning All Cell Phone Use While Driving

If Legislation Is Ever Adopted It Would Be Up To Each State To Decide

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a stunning recommendation from a federal traffic safety agency.

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for a nationwide ban on behind the wheel cell phone use — even with hands-free devices.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

It’s the NTSB’s version of you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. It is now saying you shouldn’t be allowed to drive and talk on the phone at the same time. And it made a non-binding recommendation that all 50 states to impose a ban, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

It’s a frightening fact: Your car travels the length of a football field in the time it takes to send the average text.

“It may seem like it’s a very quick call, a very quick text a tweet or an update, but accidents happen in the blink of an eye,” NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said. “You can’t take it back. You can’t have a do-over and you can’t rewind.”

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Reaction From Drivers Along The New Jersey Turnpike

The NTSB wants a national ban on talking and texting behind the wheel — even if your car is equipped with a hands-free device. And it has statistics to back up its concerns about the growing distractions for drives of all types of vehicles.

The agency says:

* An estimated 3,000 people died last year in distracted driving crashes

* Drivers using cell phones fail to see up to 50-percent of the information in their driving environment

* A person using a cell phone is four times more likely to have a crash that will result in going to the hospital

Local drivers have mixed feelings about the recommendation.

“I think it’s a good idea. I used to be a police officer and I’ve seen so many accidents that were caused by people using their cell phones, and it’s been proven texting and cell phones, speeding, even with Bluetooth you can’t concentrate while you’re talking,” said Willie Hollenfer of Bergenfield, N.J.

“I’m more of a libertarian. I think you should be punished if you get into an accident after using a phone, but if you want to use a phone in a car you should be able to,” added Todd Jordan of Rowayton, Conn.

Sometimes I feel that it is really dangerous, actually, when I’m talking on the phone and driving, probably a good idea,” said Adriannz Cutler of Armonk.

“I guess it’s pretty smart. There’s a lot of accidents that are caused, but it is nice to have your hands-free,” Jeanette Gromko of Stamford, Conn.

Although the NTSB’s recommendation is non-binding lawmakers and governors take its findings seriously.

A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his office is reviewing the agency’s report.

Do you believe that cellphones should be banned entirely or is this another case of Big Brother run amok?

  • Annie

    Although it is illegal to drive and use a cell phone in NJ it is amazing how many people text or call while driving. For the safety of all it would be best to ban this activity nationwide.

    CBS, the fact that you place your employees in a car to report during storms is totally irresponsible. Shame on you.

  • The Realist

    MY right to drive while distracted outweighs YOUR right to be safe. Period.

    • Ed Tighe

      Realist, driving is a PRIVILEGE, NOT a RIGHT, so, your statement is InCorrect

      • PatinNJ

        Driving is a right. You must have been reading the inside of the new driver’s manual, but they are wrong.

    • sharon wolff

      You are very wrong. obviously you are a “young, new, ignorant” driver. Driving in the state of NJ is a privilige not a a birth right! Where do you reside? South Jersey? You need to go back to school and get a real education. I do have a “right to be safe” when I drive your moron.

  • Lynn

    I don’t think they should ban the phone all together especially if people are using handheld devices but I do agree people should be held responsible if texting. I have been in the car with someone who likes to text and drive and I have to say it was scary. He swerved at least 3 times and my daughter was in the car.
    In order to text they have to look down to make sure they are typing what they want to say so I agree that for those people they should be given tickets.

  • monique

    Studies also show that changing radio stations while driving is the greatest cause of accidents. Perhaps radio should be banned from vehicles as well as speaking to fellow passengers while driving. Enough of government involvement.

    • Amtracmarine

      Are you saying that you want them to add car radiosto the list Monique??

    • Bob

      Which study is that? (ref?)



    • Vernon Hell

      Especially if she is wearing a bra as a top, shamelessly flaunting herself in broad daylight.

  • CN

    Why not just ban driving altogether. That would be even safer.

  • Bob

    I need more than one hand to count on my fingers the number of times I have yielded to a car merging onto southbound I-95 in Stamford from entrance 7 that from about 50mph began to steadily slow down -dangerously slow. 35mph. Assuming and old soul (shame on me) or a dui and knowing the speeds of rear-proaching traffic in the area I’d activate my warning flashers. Then the car would exit at 6 as did I. Hand held and not, every one of those instances was a 30ish+- male talking on a phone or into his dashboard. Don’t tell ME you can safely (my safety) multitask .

  • Bob

    “I’m more of a libertarian. I think you should be punished if you get into an accident after using a phone, but if you want to use a phone in a car you should be able to,”
    Just like DUI (this is a type of DUI) – kill my sister and then we’ll punish you. BS
    Let start with car that have the phone built in prevent its unless the vehicle is in park unless the call is to 911.

  • Michael

    Of the roughly 3000+ deaths related to cell use, how many were in states that already have a ban.In NJ I swee more police on the phone than I would like and if headquarters are calling them them remove the phones from them. Thre is absolutely no question that the use of cell phone presents a great risk, but we need to develop a more rational and workable solution.

  • TSnotElliot

    Distracted Drivers……….REALLY??? Let’s see: cellphones, radios, CDs, MP3s, KIDS, conversations with passengers, personal problems…the list is nearly endless….So WHICH distractions are OK and which are not? Maybe they should worry more about careless drivers or irresponsible drivers…aren’t they the ones who ALLOW themselves to be distracted?
    We need to replace Distracted Drivers with Smart Drivers.

  • Huh

    Lets focus more on the drunk drivers than the texters…I think they’ve killed more people than anyone else

    • Bob

      Until there is mandatory reporting of cell phone involvement as the cause of a crash one can’t be sure but reports are that cell phone and drunk driving rival each other as top causes. (Falling asleep is up there also.) You needn’t speculate (“I think”). Just do a little research.
      Neither has severe enough first/ second offender penalties to discourage the carnage.

  • Jimmy Ellis

    Here’s an idea. Instead of penalizing the entire country because of a few selfish kiddies, make texting a driving a felony akin to drinking and driving. Automatic suspension of license for 5 years on the first offence. No questions asked. I beat you little Timmy will put the phone down then,

    • Blasterific

      It is not just little Timmy. I see young and old on their phones all the time, I see police, traffic, EMS workers always on their phones.

  • Jimmy Ellis

    Survival of the fittest. If your little bundle of joy likes to drive and text, please, end him now before he kills someone I love.

  • Neil

    there should be a device in every car that blocks incoming and outgoing reception of all evices as long as the motor is running. probably would cost $3.00 to put in each auto and mandatory retro fitting should be a part of annual inspections


      So how will you call in an emergency when you need help for a breakdown or a holdup?

      ON-STAR from GM and Ford has their own SYNC communication devices that are designed to be hands free. Do you really think large manufacturers will allow their cell phone services to be blocked?

      Blocking cell phone use is overkill. Blocking hand held calls is the goal and that goes for texting also. Hands free should be allowed for calls only.

      People are addicted to this behavior and it has taken a back seat to driving which means all of your attention focused on the road and what is happening around you.

      • Chris Peck

        I agree with Neil. Unfortunately, we have proven ourselves incapable of using good judgement when it comes to using our cell phones, be it to talk or text. It is already against the law to use a handheld phone while driving here in NY and we all know that it is ignored. I have even seen cops driving an chatting away!

        If you need to call for an emergency, all you would have to do is pull over, shut your engine off and place the call.

        Twenty years ago cell phones weren’t so ubiquitious and we all managed just fine.

  • P8NT

    People say government is trying to impose all these rules, and its unnecessary,. I say, government is just trying to protect society, from the morons of society. Because as we all know, American’s are the best drivers in the world, who can multitask while driving. NOT!!

  • DanTe

    Just shoot these ret@rds and get it over with. See one shoot one. Preferably before it had spawned and further contaminate the gene pool.

  • This is the end...

    …of all traffic in New York City. Finally, the roads will be open for driving.

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