Push to ban drivers’ cellphone use described as gaining momentum

June 15, 2012

Richard Brooks writes in a blog post for the Riverside (CA) Press Enterprise (6/13) on the push to ban cellphone use by drivers. Brooks says “the days of chatting on even hands-free cell phones while behind the wheel may end soon, and — regardless of the merits of the idea — perhaps the only surprise is that the effort has taken this long.” Over a decade ago, “the Press-Enterprise reported that the first researcher to study the connection between cell phones and car crashes already believed that cellphone use quadrupled a driver’s chances of having a wreck,” while also finding that hands-free phones are only slightly safer. Brooks also notes that National Transportation Safety Board chairman Deborah Hersman last year called “for a 50-state total ban on the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices,” while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called distracted driving a national epidemic.