Federal safety board calls for ban on cell phones while driving

Illustration for article titled Federal safety board calls for ban on cell phones while driving

Despite several states already banning use of personal electronic devices like cell phones while driving out of fear of people tweeting, texting and Facebooking, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board today is taking things one step further. The safety board's now calling for a nationwide federal ban. And how'd they tell us? Well, they tweeted it.

What pushed the NTSB over the edge? It was its investigation of an accident in which a 19-year-old driver caused a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year (photo above). Investigators found he'd sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes leading up to the accident. The driver was killed in the chain-reaction crash, as was a 15-year-old student on one of two school buses involved. Thirty-eight other people were injured.

But let's be clear here — this is just a recommendation; the NTSB doesn't have the power to set regulations. But the agency is asking lawmakers to step in and make driving-while-texting and other such cases — we don't yet know specifics until they give a higher-than-140-character update at 2:00 PM — federal.

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We're just hoping that U.S. lawmakers don't get involved, as this is an area that really should continue to be under the jurisdiction of states. But, considering that texting while driving has actually been deemed less safe than driving drunk, the NTSB's stance will likely provide cover for more states to pass anti-texting laws. As they should. (Hat tip to BrtStlnd!)

(Photo: Jeff Roberson/AP)

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DISCUSSION

Spiegel - ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ - Hopes to post on oppos!

Call me weird but I just fail to understand the idea behind texting in any way. If it's not important to actually put the effort to talk to someone or write down what you mean in a proper way instead of 140 characters or less why do it in the first place?

Do I give a shit if you think Obama is the devil? Do you think anyone cares if you just took your dog to the grooming salon? When you combine mediocrity with a large audience you get shit like this. I'm 26 and I rarely text, I don't see the point of it. If I need to send a text to someone I say fuck that and call them instead. This is not to say that I'm against the idea of social networking, I think it's great what I'm against is the lack of moderation of it. Wanna tweet your first genital wart while in the doctor's office, just pull up your phone and take a picture! Want to type what you think about the new twilight movie while you're driving on the highway? Just pull up your phone!

This is what I'm against.

Just like I'm against excessive alcohol consumption that leads to having my ass waking up at 3 in the god damn morning the day before my final exam to take you to the emergency room to have your stomach pumped because you're too stupid to know that bubble gum schnapps can actually get you shitfaced, ex-girlfriend who won't be named here.

America does not take anything in moderation. We super size our baconators while we eat chocolated dipped, deep fried bacon strips while we drink our 10 gallon soda for $2.99 every god damn day.

I don't mind when stupid people hurt themselves, if you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough. But it gets to me when the stupidity of these people HURT the innocent, that's when I get angry and do something about it. I see you weaving, changing lanes at 100 mph on the highway? I pull up to the innermost lane, get in front of you and pace the car next to me. I see a kid playing in the middle of the street while his mother is on her cell phone not even remotely paying attention? I kick the kid's toy to kingdom come. I see drivers texting while driving? I honk the horn, flash my lights as long as I can to make you pay attention to the road.

Call me an asshole, I just saved your dumbass life.