In a recommendation that is sure to outrage drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board says all cell phone usage should be banned while driving, including calls using hands free devices.
“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, chairman of the NTSB.
The Washington Post reports that 35 states already ban texting while driving, and just nine states prohibit phone calls without a hands-free device. The NTSB announcement goes further than any state has thus far dared.
“The NTSB recommendation may be a game-changer,” said Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association. “States aren’t ready to support a total ban yet, but this may start the discussion.”
The NTSB does not have the power to set laws, but its recommendations carry much weight throughout the country.
“This is a difficult recommendation, but it’s the right recommendation and it’s time,” Hersman said.
Distracted driving, some of them involving cell phone use, contributed to 3,092 road deaths in 2010.