News by Dan Seifert on Friday April 27, 2012.
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A federal ban on all cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle has been proposed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The proposed ban applies to any vehicle on any road in any state and covers both talking and texting with a cellphone.
LaHood announced the proposal at a summit in Texas this week. He pointed out that 38 states already have laws on the books banning or restricting the use of cellphones while driving, but this new federal law would supersede those.
Opponents to the proposal, such as Gary Biller, president of the National Motorists Association, say that the new law is not necessary because it would be redundant. Existing distracted driving laws already provide coverage for such infractions, and it would be more prudent to put efforts towards combating distracted driving in general instead of focusing on specifics.
"It shouldn't matter if the driver is distracted by a conversation with another vehicle passenger, tuning the radio, eating a snack, or talking on a cell phone," said Biller in a statement on the matter. "Existing laws cover all those distractions and more."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 3,000 fatal accidents occurred on America's highways last year as a result of distracted driving. The NHTSA likens the delay in reaction time from using a cellphone while driving to the same delay as when one has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, which is the legal limit for drunk driving.source: Reuters
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.