NTSB Bid to Ban All Phone Use in Cars Is 'Overkill'

Why can't drivers use hand-free sets?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2011 12:41 PM CST
NTSB Bid to Ban All Phone Use in Cars Is 'Overkill'
The NTSB doesn't want anyone talking or texting on a phone while driving.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The NTSB's proposal for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones while driving, even of the hands-free variety, "is impractical, it's overkill, and it doesn't make sense," writes Sascha Segan at PC Magazine. Authorities can and should come down hard on anyone caught texting while driving or even just talking on a hand-held device while behind the wheel, he writes. But banning "absolutely hands-free conversations" via Bluetooth headsets or the like is where things get muddy.

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The NTSB's logic seems skewed: It's not OK with headsets but thinks devices built into the car such as On-Star or Ford's Sync are fine? We can take practical steps to curb dangerous driving through police traps and smarter apps, but "a ban on all conversations just goes too far." Need an opposing view? Dutch Mandel at AutoWeek thinks the NTSB official who proposed these rules should be canonized. "It's about damn time someone in a position of authority stood up and said, 'Enough!'" (Read more NTSB stories.)

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