1. #1
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Exclamation NTSB and its Canadian Equivilant

    Locally on the radio they have been making a news statement that the Canadian equivilant of the NTSB has made similar recommendations. The story below is the specific reference that is being used:

    NTSB: Cell phones should not be used while driving
    Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer

    San Francisco Chronicle December 14, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Jeff Roberson / AP

    Texting, talking and tweeting behind the wheel - even using hands-free devices - should be banned, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday, but any such prohibition in California seems far down the road.

    While state law enforcement and traffic safety officials agreed with the recommendation, the state's main champion of cell phone regulations for drivers said legislation imposing a ban "would be a nonstarter politically."

    "The notion of an outright ban is hard to imagine," said state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and author of three laws restricting the use of cell phones by drivers. "I don't predict it to happen in my lifetime. But then, a decade ago, I couldn't even get a hands-free bill out of the Legislature."

    Simitian said he would continue to press for increased penalties for violating the bans on handheld phones and texting, and for stepped-up enforcement.

    The five-member federal safety board unanimously passed a resolution urging states to prohibit all drivers from using cell phones, computers and other electronic gadgets, except in emergencies - a standard that far exceeds laws in any state.

    Recommendation only
    The NTSB, the nation's main transportation accident investigation agency, lacks the authority to impose regulations, but its safety recommendations are highly regarded and have led to many state and federal laws and regulations.

    NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the board has issued many recommendations restricting use of cell phones by vehicle operators, but that the rapid spread of mobile technology and the increase in distracted-driving accidents involving such devices prompted the proposed ban.

    "No e-mail, no text, no update, no call is worth a human life," she said.

    Fatal crash
    The recommendation comes out of an investigation of a 2010 pickup truck-school bus pileup in Missouri last year that killed two people and injured 35. The investigation found that the pickup driver who caused the accident sent 11 text messages in the 11 minutes leading up to the accident, including some just before impact.

    The accident is a "big red flag for all drivers," Hersman said at the board meeting.

    At a press briefing, Hersman said the agency is seeing distractions from electronic communication devices becoming increasingly common in all modes of transportation. She cited the cases of the Los Angeles Metrolink commuter train engineer who was texting before a fatal collision, and of pilots whose use of a laptop caused them to fly past their destination.

    "It may seem like a very quick call, text, tweet or update," she said, "but an accident can occur in the blink of an eye."

    The board included the use of hands-free devices in its recommended ban, Hersman said, because they still divert the attention of the driver. In addition to recommending a ban on the use of cell phones while driving, the board also called on states to publicize the recommended ban and aggressively enforce any laws that result. It also called on wireless companies to create technology that would "disable the functions of these portable electronic devices within reach of the driver when a vehicle is in motion."

    Steve Largent, president of CTIA - the Wireless Association, an industry trade group, said it agrees with the NTSB that safety should be drivers' top concern. His statement said that texting is always dangerous while driving, but that the association will "defer to state and local lawmakers and their constituents" as to the appropriateness of bans on talking on cell phones while driving.

    He said the industry will continue to develop new technology, including some that disables mobile devices, but did not comment on whether it should be mandatory.

    Officials with the California Highway Patrol and the state Office of Traffic Safety agreed with the board's recommendation. "We have always been in favor of people not using mobile devices at any time while driving," said Chris Cochran, spokesman for the traffic safety office. "It's not worth it."

    Changing behaviors
    CHP Sgt. Trent Cross said that getting drivers to change their habits could be an uphill battle.

    "It's a matter of changing behaviors - like with the (mandatory) seat-belt law," he said. "It took a while for people to jump on board. If you continue to educate, continue to enforce, we will see more people begin to comply."

    Hersman likened the board's "watershed recommendation" to the laws mandating seat belts, stiffening laws against drunk driving and warning of the dangers of smoking.

    "I know this recommendation is going to be very unpopular with many people," she said. "But we're not here to win a popularity contest. We're here to do the right thing."

    Chronicle staff writer Will Kane contributed to this report. E-mail Michael Cabanatuan at mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1gVk9ffkt


    In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a crumpled vehicle is seen between a school bus and a tractor-trailer near Gray Summit, Mo. Federal safety investigators say a 19-year-old driver was texting at the time his pickup truck, two school buses and other vehicles collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year. The National Transportation and Safety Board is recommending that states ban all phone use while driving except in case of emergency.
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  2. #2
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    Are they going to ban talking to passengers as well? That is the equivalent of talking on a cell with a hands free device.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Are they going to ban talking to passengers as well? That is the equivalent of talking on a cell with a hands free device.

    Might as well. Distracted is Distracted, no matter how you cut it. Drivers must give full time and attention to Driving. Period. My thought on this is don't worry about legislating this, simply pressure insurance companies to refuse to pay any benefit to the responsibile party in a crash where the responsible party can be shown to be doing anything other than Driving.....
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