The National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.) recently voted to recommend all states to ban the usage of cellphones while driving, regardless if it’s for a phone call, a text message, speaker-phone talk, you name it. The vote goes as far as to recommend that not even hands-free headsets, whether wired or wireless be allowed as an alternative. Currently some US states allow the use of hands-free technology as an alternative, but it seems that not even this means of communication is safe.
The agency’s recommendation is not an obligation, yet at least. States are allowed to consider it, apply it, or simply ignore it. It was based on evidence from its investigation on a large amount of crashes where electronic distraction was the major cause of the accident.
Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the N.T.S.B. stated that:
- “Every year, new devices are being released,” she said. “People are tempted to update their Facebook page, they are tempted to tweet, as if sitting at a desk. But they are driving a car.”
- “It’s going to be very unpopular with some people,” she said. “We’re not here to win a popularity contest. We’re here to do the right thing. This is a difficult recommendation, but it’s the right recommendation and it’s time.”
I’ve personally seen a large share of accidents caused by this sort of irresponsibility. I sadly see this recommendation as being a lot more difficult to apply than we think. Vehicles are currently being shipped with Bluetooth hands-free capability, so the need of a headset is becoming less and less a need to communicate.
Would you vote for or a against this measure?