NTSB: States Should Ban Truckers From Using Cell Phones

Posted on Nov 23 , 2011
The most recent message from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is that states should prohibit truckers and other commercial drivers from using cell phones while driving. The NTSB recently made a nonbinding recommendation to prohibit such drivers from using both handheld and hands-free phones, except in an emergency. "The NTSB firmly believes that commercial drivers must focus their attention on operating their large, heavy commercial vehicles rather than switching their attention between driving tasks and telephone use," the board said. As the NTSB has no authority to impose the restriction on its own, it has sent the recommendation to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and all 50 states for action. The NTSB spokesman, Pete Knudson, said that the proposed ban would apply to taxis, dump trucks, large delivery trucks and 18 wheelers, among others. "It would apply to any kind of vehicle that is used for a commercial purpose," Knudson said. The NTSB's recommendation was drafted partially in response to a crash last year in Kentucky by a tractor-trailer driver who swerved into oncoming traffic while calling a friend on his cell phone. Eleven people, including the driver, died in the accident. Investigators discovered that the driver had made or received 69 calls or text messages while driving in the 24 hours before the crash. A recent study revealed that using a cell phone while driving delays a driver's reactions as much as if he or she had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent. Clearly, when drivers of large and heavy machinery such as tractor-trailers use cell phones while driving, they unnecessarily put the lives of themselves and other drivers at a greater risk. If a negligent driver has injured you, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

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