Posted By RichC on December 14, 2011
A real hot button topic is being discussed after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended banning portable electronic devices such as cellphones from being used by drivers of automobiles. Distracted driving is fast becoming the seatbelt or drunk driving issue of the day. As someone who spends a significant amount of time on the road and has owned and used a mobile phone since before they were call “cellular,” I can say that the convenience of using a phone while driving would be missed. Admittedly I recognized that anything that distracts a motorist from the task of driving the car increases the risk of an accident, but I’m still against an out and out ban.
…the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle.
The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.
One of the more difficult problems in enforcing the “no distracted driving” push is how to enforce drivers from using cellphones. Restricting the use of cellphones through technological means seems a bit draconian since the “non-driver” shouldn’t be restricted in my opinion – of course our big government movement could be adopting the aviation industry’s no portable electronic devices position. Having a traffic stop based on a cellphone electronic signature is equally storm trooper-ish … although after an accident I can see that punitive damages may be an option? Just as fines go up in construction zones, perhaps fines and penalties raised for those using electronic communication devices may be the answer, although if we “must” go this route how about encouraging the private industry route. What I mean is let the consumers choose an auto insurance company that discounts based on those drivers who don’t use a phone while they drive … sort of the Gecko characters position on radar detectors.
I assume this ban would impact the entire mobile radio business for trucks, constructions, and for the use of law enforcement “non-emergency” radio while driving? From the sounds of it, it will also have to include amateur and CB radio as well? As the trend toward embedded iPad-like dashboards continue, perhaps these devices will be the next target.
Besides embedding a CBNC video below, I thought it interesting to look, even with the increased use of cellphones and connected devices, how much safer we are on the roads today than in the past. (Census Info) Food for thought before we legislate more of our personal freedoms away.