Talking While Driving to be Banned?
by KBB.com Editors | January 21, 2009 12:59 PM
Here's a proposal that will make ignition switch/seat belt interlock and the 55 mph speed limit of the mid-1970s seem popular in comparison: The National Safety Council (NSC) wants to completely ban drivers from using cell phones, even with hands-free devices. "Studies show that driving while talking on a cell phone...puts drivers at a four times greater risk of a crash," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC. "When our friends have been drinking, we take the car keys away. It's time to take the cell phone away." The NSC said cell phone use while driving contributes to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries and 2,600 deaths each year. A University of Utah study said using hands-free cell phones are not safer, but talking to a passenger has benefits because riders alert drivers to risks. New York, California, New Jersey, Washington and Massachusetts now ban cell phone use while driving. Those in other states could quote the late Charlton Heston: "From my cold, dead fingers."