The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB called for a nationwide ban on cell phone and other devices that can send text messaging use while driving.
The recommendation, if adopted, outlaws usage of this devices when not in an emergency situation by operators of vehicles on the road.
This includes both hands-free and hand-held gadgets but not those that are pre-installed in the vehicle by their manufacturers. Passengers are excluded from this ban.
NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman said that this is a move that has to be done in-order to avert the threats posed by distracted drivers. These types of drivers have caused havoc “since the Model T”.
Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week indicated that there are 13.5 million drivers on hand-held at any given daylight.
They also added that there were at least 3,092 fatalities caused by vehicular accidents with a distracted driver behind the wheel. They added that the number might be far higher.
Robert Sumwalt, a member of the NTSB, said, “This is becoming the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic.”
Determining whether the driver was distracted while driving as a factor in an accident can be difficult since they sometimes hide the fact or worse, they die in the accident.
NTSB said that laws directed on cell phones alone will not save the problem. They added this should be accompanied by educational campaigns and strict enforcement of the law.
The NTSB also recommended that company’s involved in developing phones develop a feature that discourages drivers using their gadgets while on the road.