NTSB calling for ban on electronic devices for drivers in all 50 states - Do you think it's a good idea?

By Adam Zeis on 13 Dec 2011 03:22 pm EST
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BlackBerry Bold In Car

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all 50 state ban the use of all electronic devices, including cell phones, by anyone operating a motor vehicle. The battle over cell phone use by drivers has been going on for years and some states have had "hands-free" bans in place for quite some time, but this would be the first to run through all 50 states. From the NTSB:

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement. 

Using a cell phone while driving can certainly be distracting and has been the cause of more than a few accidents, but will a ban like this really make a difference? Pick your stance in the poll above, then drop a comment below with your thoughts!

Via: Android Central

Reader comments

NTSB calling for ban on electronic devices for drivers in all 50 states - Do you think it's a good idea?

116 Comments

In Ontario they passed the law last October that you weren't allowed to use cellphones while driving (calling or texting) unless you have a bluetooth. I personally still text at red lights but not while moving (still illegal lol). So people from Ontario are used to it already.

At the pace that the 99xx phones are going it won't even matter. If they don't fix this white screen of death we. Won't have a phone to use in our cars.

I like how they pretend that banning it means people won't use them anymore and that they will automatically differentiate between "supporting the driving task" and not...

I also like how only smartphones get attention for this and not things like ipods, music players, in-dash units, etc.

People are just going to try to hide it more, which will make things worse.

This is kinda stupid...then just ban doing anything in the freakin car except KEEPING YOUR HANDS AT 10 & 2!!!
...cuz I'm tired of seeing people stuffing their face with food and doing all kinds of other retarded sh*t, freekin females smearing make-up crap on their face in the car and dumb dudes drivin like 1-handed idiots....meanwhile, I can't use my BlackBerry while driving?!?

Wouldn't this effectively ban people from driving since cars are in fact an electronic device? I mean, I have never seen a car without a battery... What's next? Ban forks since somebody might poke themselves...

your fork example doesn't work completely here... because I would say its mostly to protect others to not get killed or paralyzed because someone was distracted with a "very" important sms

BS libertarian garbage. Everyone wants the government out of their lives except when it helps them (ie roads, hospitals, police, fire).

I for one don't want to rely on other people's "personal responsibility" when it comes to MY freaking safety. I don't want some douchebag on their phone running into me. People are bad drivers as it is. Last year, some idiot drove into 5 (5!) cyclists because he wasn't paying attention.

You are seriously out of touch if you believe a law such as the one the NTSB is proposing will protect you. Aren't there laws to punish people for speeding, and yet people speed any way? Aren't there laws that punish people for running red lights, and yet people still run red lights? In other words, laws don't stop law-breakers from doing what they do. Laws only punish the law-abiding, just as locks only keep out honest people.

People like you that rely on the government to think for them are truly disappointing. You should be ashamed.

Now, please explain to me how this proposed law will make the roads safer for you... how this proposed law will stop people from using smartphones in their vehicles so that they don't run into you. And please explain to me how well the existing speeding, driving distracted, right of way, failure to obey traffic control device, etc. laws already on the books helped those cyclists from getting run over from someone that wasn't paying attention. Please.

Haven't you noticed that people generally drive just a little bit above the speed limit and not to stupid speed like some do once in a while?
No it doesn't stop everyone but it prevents many people to do it, so I think it is worth it
Have you noticed that most people stop at a red light even though there is nobody at the intersection? True, some don't completely stop(usually at night actually when they have less chances to get cought) but again, most do and that is good enough.
Rules like this exist for people who have a lack of judgment, those people need a consequence or something else to be scared of, to help them not do it.
You should be mad that those people exist instead

First, "a little bit above the speed limit" is illegal, so right there you admit that the law isn't particularly doing anything to stop people from speeding. The problem, however, is that the post above mine said that the law is needed to prevent someone from hitting him. The law won't do that, just as laws don't prevent people from running red lights, speeding, etc. Again, the person that plowed over the five bikers didn't have any hesitation despite the number of laws that were broken when he did that, now did he?

Furthermore, why not ban all activity in a car for safety's sake? No music. No smoking. No talking to a passenger. The only thing you may do is drive and keep your hands at 10 and 2. Anything else is illegal. Seems reasonable to me if you think this potential law is reasonable.

Funny thing is that even if that were to happen, people would still get into accidents and die. As I said, laws stop law abiding citizens only. Laws do not stop criminals (who, by their very definition, aren't law abiding). The more laws that are passed, the more liberties are taken away, and the more law abiding citizens are restricted while the criminals continue to have free reign.

By: barrist | Date: Tue, 12/13/2011 - 16:04
BS libertarian garbage. Everyone wants the government out of their lives except when it helps them (ie roads, hospitals, police, fire).
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And I bet your a cyclist. Interestingly, this ban would help out cyclists now, wouldn't it?

What ever happened to individual states having the right to set their own laws? Next their going to say no one in all 50 states can carry their gun in the cabin of their car o_O

If the feds cannot justify their traffic laws as "regulating interstate commerce," then they use federal highway funds as blackmail to force the states into compliance.

Hopefully, our current "do nothing" Congress will remain faithful to their name and let this stupid idea die.

My state has a ban on texting and handset calling while driving, but I cannot tell the difference. But that's not surprising, because "distracted driving" was already illegal and people still did it.

that is the real problem. the new world order is SUE SOMEBODY,and everybody! it is all about lawsuits, and there is no more personal responsibility, it is always somebody else's fault.

It will work as long as law enforcement actually enforces the law and hand out fines.

There are just too many people (idiots) out there thinking they are special and can txt/call (I'm not talking about a quick glance at the device but full on attention to it.) while they are driving. I've come close to being hit twice because the person was busy paying attention to his/her phone and not the road. Phones aren't the only culprits though. I've seen people reading books and newspapers and lets not forget those having a nice meal or putting make up on too. They should all get a nice hefty fine. No one should end up hurt or dead because of someone's else's stupidity.

Enforcement is almost always where these things fail. They often fail horribly to even define the terms under how to specifically enforce said laws.

Its already law in nyc to not text or talk on the phone while driving unless you have a. Hands free headset - I don't text and drive anymore after my brother got into a nasty accident.

In Italy it's years you cannot use elettronic devices while driving. It's possible to use mobile phones with headset on of course.
It definitely avoids many accidents!

I thought last year it was proven that cellphones hadn't really affected driving numbers by the IIHS...so if the NTSB would like to change those numbers, i'd love to see them.

*My most important point to make is the fact that police operate laptops while seated in the drivers seat of a car. Nothing against cops, or the people that claim "they're trained"...Clearly, no one is "trained" well enough to be able to operate a car and use electronics. It's different now that cops use keyboards and laptops, different from the days of cb radios...They're not any more well trained than regular commuters are when it comes to looking away from the road ahead.

I voted for a middle ground. How could there not be a middle ground? If you're a 50 year old man like myself with the triple b's (bimmer, bluetooth, blackberry), you should be able to safely drive and speak without using your hands. However, if my daughter had the triple b's, I would not approve of her using her phone to call in the car, because shes young dumb and dangerous. Car manufacturers seem to be making it easier to control your car with your mouth, so why shouldnt the population be able to take advantage of that? And if this NTSB thinks that they can mandate such law for all 50 states, you know what's going to happen...You're going to get charged more on your insurance if your car has bluetooth, because that gives you the opportunity to do something "illegal".

But there's the rub... you sound like someone that would actually be a parent to your child and tell your child "no." So many parents these days don't want the responsibility of raising their children, so they expect the government to do it for them.

So let me get this straight...You don't approve of your daughter having triple B's because she's a double "D"? Lol

Driving distracted is a safety hazard period. Using a cell phone even with a hands free device is the same as having a blood alchol level of .08, which is leagally drunk in all 50 states. I love my Bold but it goes in my backpack when I get in my vehicle. I am in the safety /transportation biz and have investigated a lot of accidents that were the result of distracted driving. Driving a motor vehicle safely takes focus and awarenes. Do you really need to answer the latest tweet instantly?

Where are these people that do these studies about driving safety and comparing things to a blood alcohol level?

Hell I could talk on the phone with a BAC of .08 when I am driving and still pose no threat to anyone, but I never take my eyes off the phone when I do stuff in my vehicle.

This is just a ruse to collect more money from people. Stop playing into the Nanny State. Life at it's core has risks associated with it, if you don't like those risks, don't leave your freaking house in the morning.

It's people like you that won't be happy until we are all driving tricycles made by Nerf.

morons, nanny state, then only logic precludes that you have to ban the following:

car radios
GPS
eating while driving
applying makeup while driving
talking
and most important

Driving with wife in car, most dangerous of all!!!!

My biggest pet peeve is a passenger of mine on their phone speaking while i'm driving. I guess if drivers are banned, so should passengers because that annoys me more than hearing about texting and driving.

I'll settle with the government:

Legalize marijuana and ban cellphone use while driving.

That's fair, right? They'll make up for the lack of taxes from purchased cars and bluetooth with the taxes paid on marijuana.

I'm right, the government's wrong, and if you don't like mary, you haven't seen just how great your blackberry really is.

I think they should even ban hands free use. Drivers are distracted even with hands free devices. Why? They usually need their hands to answer/start/mute a call. Not every hands-free solution is 100% hands free. The driver is still distracted at some point. And then you have morons who are texting while driving or even surfing while driving.

I'd say ban phones entirely in the car apart from emergency reasons.

Watch the accident rate drop...

There also needs to be a ban on radio use in the car. Want to change a station? You had better pull over or you go to jail. Want to switch CDs? Better pull over. Want to change tracks on your iPod? Pull over.

Are you suggesting you don't ever do anything distracting while driving?

Why not? That's an ideal world. Then everyone could focus on just driving and being safe. Like in the old days. ;)

Seriously though... phones, ipods, gps's are all adding to the distraction. When's it gonna end?

I try to avoid anything distracting while driving.

Sure you do. So you never drive mad? You never listen to the radio and get into a song you hear? You never change the station on your radio/iPod/CD/etc.? You always drive with your hands at 10 and 2?

Or is this an issue of defining "distracting" as "anything I think doesn't need to be used in a car?" Besides, do you actually believe there were no accidents, no fatalities, in the old days?

I say we ban idiot drivers. We make it too easy for people to get their license we treat it as a right and not a privilege.

We didn't have as many laws pertaining to this before the days of touch screen. Something to be said for the tactile feedback most BlackBerry phones feature.

At the end of the day we can't legislate common sense, and that is clearly what these bans try to do. They only succeeded in collecting revenues.

It's not just about your hands; it's also about your concentration. If you keep your calls short, avoid topics that require deep thought, and don't make or take calls during demanding traffic situations, it can be done safely.

This is insane....

I see people every morning shaving, eating, reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, and all kinds of other nonsense while driving.

They don't ban those activities, and if they do, they sure as hell don't enforce them.

I'm a sales rep, I live in my car and I use bluetooth.. I will keep using my phone because I have too in order to do my job at times.

There is a city in my state that banned cell usage and then started to fine drivers for having ANYTHING in their hands at all. One lady got pulled over and fined $100 for taking a drink of her McDonald's soda!

This "ban" will lead to more driving infractions and fines, it's the tip of the iceberg and it's only a cash grab for law enforcement. Besides the police have more sh*t in their cars than we do, computers, phones, video games, porn mags, etc... it's garbage!

Do we really need special laws for all the technology we release? How about we enforce the laws we have? There is something called reckless driving and negligent driving.

Also since when does the NTSB have the authority to tell the states ANYTHING? They weren't elected by anyone, we have separation of powers for a reason. Legislation should come from people we elect or we are no longer living in a democracy.

Today, a man wearing his Blackberry Playbook as his "bling" was arrested on charges of listening to "Another One Bites The Dust" on his Bold 9900. Oddly, police also found a stash of prototype smartphones that had gone missing in late summer under the accused's front seat. When police confronted the man, he insisted on not being a Queen fan, and he has no recollection of where the stolen smartphones came from, only stating in a panicked voice, "The RIMpire Strikes Back!"

What about GPS? Does this apply to turning them off while driving too? Mind as well save yout money and just buy a map!

they should make a law stating that all people like this chap, read laws three times:
"The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers."

Safe to say your gps unit supports the task of driving, yes?

Sure does. So does a cell phone if the conversation is about how to get to that house you are trying to find. So based on that logic, we can still use cell phones in cars if this passes, right?

The problem here is not cellphones. I mean really, does the ntsb really believe.that before the invention of the cellphone, we were a society of people who were polite, well-mannered, and always followed traffic laws?

No, the problem is that we live in a society that is me-first, I have my rights, with a side helping of over inflated sense of self importance ("im important, I have to take this call! Im important, its ok if I run this red light!")

Last night a 10 year old boy was killed in a horrific crash (not an accident, a crash) right near my house, caused by a driver running a red light. At this same intersection two years ago, a motorcyclist was killed when, while sitting at the red light, she was rear ended by a woman who was, get this, painting her nails. The nail painter got a mere 18 months.

My point is, current laws need to be enforced, and the consequences need to have teeth and need to stick. You cause a crash because you are driving distracted, maybe you should have to pay the costs out of pocket instead of letting insurance foot the bill.

The way this reccomendation is worded it would ban radio use, looking at your watch, using a radar detector, and for us truck drivers, the use of a Citizens Band radio (CB).

If they go through with that, I hope they define it better than "electronic devices", but knowing our government they won't. GPS, radio are electronic devices. What about all the other distractions we see....and then there are those people who can't drive while talking on a headset. How far do we want to carry this nanny-state mentality.

Yes, we all know of instances where distracted driving has ended badly, but good sense cannot be legislated.

Wow, many people simply just do not read thoroughly. Here, I'll repost the important part which makes you appear as if you weren't paying attention:
"The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers."

**Read that sentence in parenthesis...in case you missed it again.

Okay, now define "support the driving task" please. Does a GPS support the driving task? Yes? Okay, what about a cell phone? Couldn't a cell phone support the driving task if the call is about directions to get to that house you are trying to find? Sure? So then I can use a cell phone while driving.

Heck, couldn't just about anything be classified as supporting the driving task? If so, then what's the point of pushing this new law? Perhaps it's because what we might classify as supporting the driving task isn't really what the government thinks should apply?

Electronics and Phones don't cause auto accidents PEOPLE do. Get poor drivers off the road and let the experienced people be!

Meanwhile the NTSB has no problem with asshats driving 45 in the fast lane! :)

I agree that there should be a nationwide ban. While it's fair to debate the wording of such a law, the fundementals should remain the same: people should not be talking and driving.

There is sufficent evidence/research to suggest that talking on a cell phone and driving poses a real danger, even equal to or greater than drunk driving.

Here in Oregon, we have had a ban on cellphones and driving for close to two years now. Sure, people still talk and drive, but people also get tickets as well (and people also get sued for cell use and driving when they cause an accident). I personally have changed my habits since this law was passed. If I do talk and drive, its with bluetooth or by speakerphone only (set on the dashboard).

As for those commenters who take this discussion into the politican realm, specifically saying things like "nanny state" and "government interfering in peoples lives", this issue is too important to not address. While each state can make laws, there is something worth while having one, common, and standard law regarding this issue. I can't see how individual state laws would be better. This is a more than reasonable and logical law to help protect people from those in our society who put their cell phone usage before the safety of others while on the road.

I've seen cop cars do it as well. They should be the first to implement it. There is too much distraction inside new vehicles as well. You got your CD changer, some come with big screen that you can look at weather, satellite radio, you got your kids playing in the back watching videos. Its a mess, But police men do it as well.

Now there's a whole new page to the conversation. I live in a small town, city, whatever. Around 15,000 people. And of the whole 3-5 city police we keep on duty at all times, almost every time I see one, they are on the cell phone driving. Then there is the State Patrol doing it and the Sheriff dept. But our city cops are by far the worst. Now I do as well, on bluetooth. Also I have been known to send out a quick txt or BBM at a red light but never while the car is in motion. Does anyone really think the police will stop? I for one don't think so...

I believe this would be a good idea. On multiple occasions I've been seen yelling at the jack@ss in front of me who isn't paying attention to the traffic light, not using a blinker, not checking their blind spot, or any other horrible driving examples because s/he was on the phone.
Most cars now days come with a bluetooth connection for the in car radios so you can call and talk hands free (even if talking to the person using the bluetooth connection is a pain). If you don't have one of those, you can also get a cassette to headphone jack adapter and plug it into your phone (that's what I do) and then you can talk hands free like that.
I'm all for a nationwide ban of portable electronic devices being used while operating an automotive vehicle.

Ban it. Put in "Hands Free" law.

- Can't use a cellphone unless talking via bluetooth or speakerphone (ie you can't touch it).

There are too many bad drivers out there, and using cell phones only makes them worse.

Unfortunately the only way to stop the idiot watching a movie on his phone, texting, talking with phone in hand, not hands free, is to make it illegal. At least 3-4 times a month i have a close call, in a parking lot, or intersection. Every time i have the chance to look at the person, which isn't every time, they have a phone to their ear.

Making it illegal won't stop it. If that was true, we'd have no drugs or prostitution.

Education about the risks and then enhanced enforcement of existing law ("Distracted Driving" is already illegal.) can make a difference though.

Yep. Why can't people understand this? Why do people want to believe that "just one more law will finally fix the problem?"

OK here is one for all you people out there. They want to ban portable devices in all 50 states, but here in NY they abolish the eye exam for renewing a drivers license????? They are going by the honor system, and as long as you are "honest" and say that your vision is fine, then your license is renewed. This applies to 60 and older as well.

Tell me we don't have an F**KED up country..........

Our government is broke. This would only be used to increase the govs cash flow with high ticket prices for doing such

been against the law in the uk for ages

get with it !

if you use your phone whilst driving you arnt concentrating on the road!

i know you all drive go karts out there without any proper gears to change but still......

You also aren't concentrating on the road if you are switching out CDs or switching stations on the radio. Should we ban those activities as well? And before you say "those aren't distracting" then perhaps you can help me understand why a using a cell phone is any worse than switching a CD while driving.

What other "distraction" will they ban next? Talking? CB Radios? Eating? Drinking?

Maybe no passengers that can distract the driver. They are going way to far.

So if folks dont go buy a a second gps (apart from the one in their phone) they will have to go back to using a non distracting map or Thomas Guide in the car which is sooooo much less difficult to use when trying to find a location that they have never been to. Neato.

You might as well ban putting on make-up, eating, crying babies, fighting children, fighting lovers, et al. It's pure stupidity--there are already laws that say cover "unsafe" and "distracted" driving. We have that same law here in CA. I still see lots of people using their phones (without handsfree) regardless.

We don't need new laws and a new bureaucracy and red tape to support it. We need current laws to be enforced. And we need common sense and personal responsibility restored in our society.

Scratch that last part--I'm not that hopeful.

Yep. Unfortunately, we have become a nation dependent on the government to tell us what is safe for us to do, to take care of our children so we don't have to, and to tell us what we can and can't eat. We have become pathetic. We are, as so many of the posts in this thread suggest, one step away from turning the film Idiocracy into a documentary.

Its already enforced in BC, Canada already. I think its an excellent idea. I love swerving and honking my horn at people using their phones or iPods. Scares the shit out of them

As a Libertarian, I am strongly against the government enacting laws such as these. Next thing we won't be able to change the radio station without getting a ticket.

Law Enforcement are generally exempt from all traffic laws and regulations. That's why their driver training is far more extensive and the insurance premiums for emergency vehicles are a lot higher. If driving with a hand free device and texting were prohibited for cops then not only would they not be able to use their vehicle radios to communicate but they also couldn't run the tags on their data terminals (computers).

In the UK it has been illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving and you will find the argument is less about the "talking" aspect but rather about the actual handling of the device as handsfree operation is allowed. now the NTSB's proposal to ban "portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task)" is interesting as a gps is designed to support the driving task. My phone has built in gps so i can use it to navigate my way home but not make a call........ how will you mr police officer know the difference?

As for the distraction factor, passengers are already a disctraction so why encourage car sharing/pooling? just make all cars single seater, automatics. Better still improve public transport and ban cars full stop. NO cars = NO road traffic accidents (except those cause by bus drivers)

This is a nanny state propsal to generate revenue IF the use of mobile phone whilst driving is such a problem then force car manufacturers to install signal blockers that block the phones signal whilst the car is in motion, at the same time make all cars that can exceed the speed limit illegal (wait a minute thats a dumba**e idea, right)

There are sufficient laws already in place to address this issue lets try using them. I like the argument that some people NEED laws to help them manage their behavior, ridiculous but if that is you obey the laws that are currently in place and you will be fine

I do have to say that you guys in America are crazy, you want to introduce laws to ban the use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task), with all these supporting statistics yet still maintain its your "constitutional right" to own a gun. YOU HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS THAN THE 5 CYCLIST WHO WERE RUN OVER PEOPLE, GET A GRIP.

Oh I forgot RIM didn't contribute enough to the campain funds...........

Getting caught would also make you pay more for car insurance. The more moving violations you have, the more you will have to pay.

What shall they do with those people holding phones up to their fat little faces? Execution? I see it all day long, yet there are signs everywhere around here (NYC/NJ) warning everyone that it is ILLEGAL. Not many listen nor care. I've seen police holding phones to their heads.

rant Show me the supporting studies that dictate this even becoming law and I'll show you a policy like many before it; cater to the few whiney bitches at the expense of the many while taking away and governing something uncontrolable. /rant

To me, it really wouldn't make a difference between a Bold 9900 or a Jitterbug dumbphone, often I use my 9700 for GPS duties with Garmin Mobile. If I want to make a call, there's a BlackBerry app for that! Vlingo, and thanks to RIM, it's free!

I'm in favor of the law provided it is enforced. California already has this and I see drivers every day talking on their cell phones and reading or typing. Yesterday a guy in front of me going 65 suddenly slowed down, started weaving in his lane, then moved to the right lane. When I passed him, I could see he was holding his phone in his right hand and looking at it, maybe typing. Saw this article today:
"A 19-year-old pickup truck driver involved in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident, federal investigators said Tuesday."
http://news.yahoo.com/driver-sent-got-11-texts-11-min-crash-151619850.html

I think if you were the mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin, friend of the 15 year old boy on the schoolbus that got killed, you'd be in favor of this law. The 19 yr. old driver died in the accident also. Very sad, unnecessary loss of life and many injuries. If this law saved even one person's life, it's worth it.

You are in favor of this law provided it is enforced? So you're not in favor of enforcing similar laws that are already on the books? Why would adding this one more law finally make everything right when all the other laws have failed?

And if you believe that saving just one more life makes passing laws like this okay, then we must pass a law that bans driving. No more driving, because I can guarantee you that at least one life will be saved if driving is illegal. Right? Or are you going to respond that I am taking it too far? If so, then how do we define too far?

Have you followed drivers that weren't driving well - and then saw them holding a cell phone?

Changing a radio station can also be a major (temporary) distraction too.

At 74, I find any distraction much more distracting.

Fluf talk isn't too distracting. Discussing a major problem can require a great deal of concentration!

A train engineer in California texting missed a red signal and many people died!

I chose middle ground.

Its illegal here in BC, Canada to talk on your cell phone or text while driving. Bluetooth is fine and navigation units. Unless your in the new driver program, which is average of 3 years after you get your license, we cant have bluetooth, or any gps navigation in the car unless its factory installed. Which is really stupid because i now have to hide my google maps on my 9900 on my lap while driving instead of getting a windshield mount or something for it.

The most retarded thing is there were a few states in the US that have shown that adding these fines has increased accidents because people are now trying to hide there texting on there lap. The numbers proved it, surveys proved it. Theres no reduction in accidents here after the law. But of course the government wont admit there mistake and take away a law, they'll just add more.

And ontop of that I now text on my lap rather then holding my phone at eye level aswell. I dont even think about it anymore, I hold the phone all the way down into my lap or even in my cupholder. Im a pro driver but Ive caught myself wandering and coming close to a few fender benders while doing this. My newly added bluetooth cd player, and vlingo has helped a bit, and if i install a playbook BBM should get easier.

Navigation units are ILLEGAL. Drivers in the graduated licensing program are not allowed to use cell phones while driving EVEN IF YOU HAVE A BLUETOOTH DEVICE. ANY device that IS NOT part of the car is illegal to use.

I'm utterly shocked to see the stupidty and primitive-thinking of so many people here. This issue should be a no brainer. When you're driving a car, your sole focus should be exactly that - operating the vehicle. You shouldn't be talking on your cell phone nor should you be using any other electronic devices such as GPS, Ipods, MP3 players, etc. Research has shown that drivers who are talking on their cell phones while driving take risks they wouldn't normally take if they weren't talking on their cell phones. An examplke of this is left-hand turns, where distance perception is highly relevant. Any of you can look up research on EBSCO HOST to support this. Another point - when you're talking on your cell phone, you are psychologically distracted. You're either focused on the conversation itself or on driving. You CANNOT effectively do both at the same time regardless of how good a driver you think you are. Psychological research has proved this as well. Humans CANNOT react to sudden actions when they are distracted while talking on their cell phones. Operating other electronic devices is also a no-brainer. When you're trying to enter your destination into a GPS device or choose a song from your MP3 player, you are concentrated on that. You are taking your eyes off the road and you are trying to fiddle with the GPS or MP3 player. People need to understand that when you're driving a car, you should have 100% of your attention on operating that vehicle. If you're not, you're putting other people at risk...INNOCENT people. Putting it bluntly, I don't care if you drive into a ditch or hit an obstacle on the road and injure or kill yourself. That's your fault. I care about the innocent person you just hit, leaving them permanently injured (FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE) or killing them. Can you live with yourself after having done that?

And as for the idiot who gave the stupid fork example - are you joking me? That's the worst example ever. You're endangering other people while driving and talking on the cell phone, etc.

And as for the retard, ifarlow...you have got to be some uneducated fool. If the world were to follow your line of thinking where people don't obey the law so there should be none, then let's get rid of all laws where people are free to do whatever they want. Heck, murder's fine. You're saying that people don't follow driving laws, so they're not protecting citizens, which LOGICALLY means that they then, shouldn't exist.

Brilliant. Did I say there should be no laws? Show me, please. And while you're at it, are you going to make it illegal to talk to a passenger in the car while driving? Are you going to make it illegal to listen to the radio?

You are a huge disappointment.

You are utterly an idiot. Read my original post again. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, you should not be here. Instead of being an idiot and replying to a mass amount of posts, you should make sense. Your response is not needed, as I know you will be too stupid to find the anseer in my original post.

Unreal. I never said laws shouldn't exist, and you are unable to answer my simple question: show me where I said otherwise. So what do you do instead? Call me an idiot while making absurd leaps in logic. Brilliant.

Clearly you are incapable of understanding that there are already laws that do exist to cover distracted driving and that adding yet another one won't help. What will help, however, is actually enforcing the existing laws. Furthermore, if my posts don't make sense to you, then perhaps you should be the one to re-evaluate your own intelligence. And finally, your repeated labeling of me as an idiot further suggests that you lack the ability to have a reasonable debate, because those that can't always resort to childish name-calling.

What worries me most is that you are out there infecting others with your juvenile anger and your twisted logic. You undoubtedly influence people to believe as you do. That is unfortunate, disappointing, and horrifying.

Here in Spain it been years since we can't use the cellphone in our cars. You have to use a Handsfree kit or stop to make a call, even if you have to deal the number, you have to stop.

I agree with this kind of laws, but its true that is the same think as using the GPS or the Radio Station and this two are not prohibited.

This is stupid. There's no data that proves laws like this prevents accidents. Why don't you also make sneezing while driving illegal. Or eating. Or looking for DVDs while driving: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/berry-children-orphaned-justin-bieber-spurs...

People who suck at driving/are reckless are still going to be regardless of the law. States should revoke licenses of people who are repeated stopped for driving recklessly, instead of punishing everybody "just in case".

Also, if you are going to ban talking on the cell phone, then ban talking on the cell phone. What is this Bluetooth hands-free garbage? You really think accidents happen primarily because someone was holding a phone to their face and not because their brain was focused on the conversation instead of the road?

I bet the people that text & drive would not close there eyes for 3 sec while driving down the street at 45 mph cus that is what there doing. You do not want gov telling what to do but you what them to give you food stamps help pay your bills. People that text & drive should wake up and think what is does to them & others instead of bitching about the gov

I believe it should be banned. Driving is a luxury and should not be abused. Seriously, you're driving a tool that has the potential to take lives. How would you feel if your bus driver or train conductor was talking on the phone or texting while trying to pick up passengers and make stops? Many would be outraged. While it all comes down to common sense people need boundaries to maintain order. Hate it or love it, it's reality.

P.S. Before cellphones people looked for a payphone and that was fine. I would love to see some data on the number of deaths and car accidents before cell phones were available due to human distraction.

There are many more distractions in a car than just cell phones. And notice that it said that GPS devices would be excluded. How is it any safer driving down the road programming a GPS than it is talking on a cell phone. And what about eating in your car, talking to passengers? They can't stop everything. Making bluetooth mandatory in all cars might help, but there will always be distractions.

Dear Government, should I wipe towards, or away? Also, is it okay for me to sleep on my back and right side more often than my left. Finally, is it acceptable to use more than one sheet of toilet paper if I am substituting a tissue to blow my nose? Please let me know, I'll be in a holding pattern until one of the Czars or department heads respond...

Away. No. Yes.

Also, please don't forget that the government says you consume too much salt, that you don't exercise enough, and that you are too sensitive to hear bad language on television.

This proposed ban is a joke, our government is a joke and this country is a joke.....

Someone posted earlier that we have speed limits, people still speed everyday, we have stop lights people still don't stop, we are not suppose to drink and drive, people still do it.

Really???

This is nonsense! The federal government shouldn't be dictating what laws the states should have. My state (Washington) already has a hands free law and I still see many with their phone to their ear. If a law is to be passed it needs to be a distracted driver law, not just a cell phone ban. I personally would prefer that law enforcement spend their time on more important things. This is another example of the governments overreaction to things.

Wouldn't it make more sense to solve the source of the problem; human drivers. Fully automated or at least computer assisted motor vehicles would make a huge difference in driving safely. Baring anything else I do feel that using devices with tactile feedback reduces the need to look away from where you are driving.

In Australia its $160 fine for using a phone in your hand while driving. I gotta say its one I agree with.
There has been much evidence that driving while on the phone (even hands free) is akin to having .05 alcohol in your bloodstream.
Ever followed someone driving weird and then when you pass them you see they are on the phone?

Pass the law.

I do not understand why you people are bitching about this. There is no harm in paying complete attention to the road. You cannot make plans for the weekend after you park? You cannot program your GPS before starting your trip? You cannot pull over to handle that call you deem an emergency? This is for the sake of public safety.

The line is drawn where people operate external devices not affixed to the car.No one is talking about extending that line to prohibit talking to your passengers, so why are you? Next thing you know, you are going to saying that speeding laws should not exist and that 50 Km or 35 miles is too fast and the government will lower the limit. Please...

People, GROW UP.

Wow, there are a lot of idiots across the atlantic it seems. Jeez guys, in many other countries it's accepted that driving while talking to some knob on the phone about your sweaty nuts is irresponsible, and there have been well documented cases of accidents (some horrific ones on the 'freeway') caused by this kind of behaviour. 99% of you have FA that's so important you can't wait until you've reached McDonalds / fundamentalist church / Republican rally

Honestly, you guys are idiots just for thinking it's a point of discussion. Tell you what, let's all get drunk and get behind the wheel too.......just like George W......idiots!

Please explain to me how talking on a phone is any different than talking with a passenger. For that matter, how is talking on a phone any worse than dealing with unruly children in the back seat.

I'm willing to be you can't.