NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on PED use While Driving

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on PED use While DrivingOn Tuesday, December 13, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made a recommendation to ban all use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) while behind the wheel.

The recommendation came after a Board meeting regarding a 2010 multi-vehicle accident in Gray Summit, Missouri, and specifically urges all 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban all non-emergency use of PEDs for drivers. The recommendation also pressured the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to use a model of high-visibility enforcement to to support the bans.

“According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents“, said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving. No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”

In Tucson, public response has showed residents agree with the NTSB’s recommendation, according to CBS affiliate KOLD.

“I don’t know how they text and drive,” resident Jeanette Christy said. “I really do not know how they can do that.”

Some states are ahead of the curve, with nine states, including the District of Columbia, already enforcing laws that prohibit motorists from talking on a cell phone. In total, 35 states have banned texting while driving – but no state has yet to adopt the stringent measures the NTSB is calling for.

AAA stated that while it supports a texting ban, getting drivers to hold off on all PED usage could be too ambitious.

“We have 80 percent support from Americans saying they would support bans on texting while driving versus a divided opinion based on cell phone use in general,” said AAA Arizona spokeswoman Mary Peakas.

Currently, Phoenix is the only city in Arizona where texting while driving is illegal, after the measure was passed in 2007. But Tucson city councilman Steve Kozachik is hoping to change that.

“The state of Arizona has considered this two or three times and for purely partisan reasons hasn’t been able to get it through,” Kozachik said. “My sense was let’s in the city of Tucson show the state legislature that we can do this on a local level.”

According to the NHTSA, 5,474 people were killed in 2009 in crashes across the country allegedly as a result of distracted driving.