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NTSB Wants Ban on All Phone Use and Texting While Driving

12/13/2011 4:00:00 PM
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U.S. drivers would not be able to send text messages or use mobile phones — even with headsets or speakers — under a recommendation Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board aimed at preventing distracted-driving crashes, Bloomberg reported.

“Too many people are texting, talking and driving at the same time,� NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said at a hearing in Washington. “It’s time to put a stop to distraction. No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,� she said, Bloomberg reported

Systems built into cars, like General Motors Co.’s OnStar, and global positioning systems would not be affected by the ban, an NTSB spokeswoman said.

The independent agency recommends safety improvements for U.S. agencies to act upon; it can’t implement them itself. Donald Karol, the NTSB’s director of highway safety, said the agency had been recommending collision warning systems since the mid 1990s, Bloomberg reported.

NTSB strengthened its anti-phone stance after completing its investigation into an August 2010 crash in Gray Summit, Mo., in which a 19-year-old GMC Sierra pickup driver sent or received 11 text messages in 13 minutes before plowing into the back of a tractor-trailer, Bloomberg said.

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