Do you ever make business or personal calls on your cell phone while driving? If so, you may want to pay close attention to a campaign launched this week by the National Safety Council (NSC) to prohibit even turning on a phone while behind the wheel.
The organization sent letters to governors and legislative leaders in all 50 states, urging them to make the ban part of their motor-vehicle laws. This idea goes way beyond the efforts that have taken place in many states and cities to ban drivers from texting and using handheld phones. The NSC says that dozens of studies have found that using a hands-free phone while driving is no safer than using a handheld one. It’s a distraction issue, and the group says studies show that about 6 percent of all traffic fatalities are caused at least in part by drivers not paying attention while on the phone.
This shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is from a big organization with lobbying clout, the same group that devised the “click it or ticket” slogan, adopted in many places to warn drivers to follow the law and buckle up.
The AAA motor club, another group with influence, has a campaign of its own to educate drivers to the fact that using a hands-free phone isn’t safer than using a handheld. But AAA hasn’t endorsed the safety council’s more radical position.
What do you think of a ban on using a cell phone while driving?