Ban cell phone use while driving: US safety panel

December 14th, 2011 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 14 (IANS/EFE) The US transportation safety board has unanimously recommended that people be banned from using cell phones and other electronic gadgets while driving, save in an emergency.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation would apply to all types of electronic devices, including hands-free phones, and it goes far beyond the existing restrictions in many of the 50 states.

Although the recommendations of the NTSB are non-binding, they certainly carry a great deal of weight and lawmakers normally observe them. In this case, it would be up to the states to implement the necessary measures.

The recommendation by the agency is the result of a 2010 pileup near Gray Summit, Missouri. The 19-year-old driver blamed for the accident sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before causing the crash.

His pickup truck, which was travelling at almost 90 kph, collided with a tractor-trailer that had slowed down due to highway repair work. Subsequently, a school bus plowed into the pickup truck and a second bus then crashed into the first one.

The driver of the pickup truck and a 15-year-old student died, and 38 people were injured.


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