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NTSB Calls for Full Ban on In-Car Phone Use


distracted driving lawsAnd in my humble opinion, it's about time this issue was addressed on the Federal level.  As far as I know, the States have had their own authority on whether to put a law on the book regarding this issue, but a statement issued by the NTSB could very well be the catalyst to restoring order and safety to our highways.

From CNN:

Federal accident investigators Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving.

The recommendation is the most far-reaching yet by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in the past 10 years has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices. It has recommended such bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers.

The new recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road.

It would not apply to hand-free devices or to passengers.

We've addressed cell phone laws from the risk management as well as the legal standpoint on this blog before, but our commentary has always been of someone in the state of Connecticut.  CT Cell Phone Laws, Distracted Driver Penalties , OSHA & Distracted Driving 

This legislation, if successful, will have far reaching risk management implications on every company policy, handbook, and insurance program.  The announcement today by the NTSB follows the results of an investigation in which a 19 year old driver was found to have sent 6 texts, and received 5 in the 10 minutes prior to causing an accident that killed him, a 15 year old student, and injured another 38.  LINK 

Obviously, with legislation that is this far reaching, there will be complaints that the "constitution is being stepped on"  "big brother is extending his reach further" and it probably won't be pushed through on the Federal level in the next 6 months.  However, there are already 35 states with bans on texting and of those 35, 10 have full bans on the use of all handheld devices.  I feel with that momentum on the national level, and this recommendation by the NTSB, it won't take much for the remaining 15 states to get on board.  However, as anyone that has driven in CT knows, these laws are only as good as their enforcement. 

Now, about the whole risk management and insurance angle of this...if this becomes a national law, or some derivative therein, there will be clauses, endorsements, and changes to many business auto and workers' comp policies regarding who will be liable if an on-duty employee causes an accident because they were on their phone.  It's much too early to speculate on how that will shake down, but much like the hard market, it's coming.  Thanks for not reading this while you were driving.


You also have to factor in the guys that do a lot of talking while driving from location to location. You wouldn't be able to call a team on the road and expect a response until they were done driving.
Posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 2:42 PM by Munro's Safety Apparel
This is a serious issue and people know the side effects of using cell phone while driving but I don't know why they do this. This is right for step.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 5:55 AM by CostaMesa
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