The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued a recommendation aimed at putting the cell-phone genie back in the bottle.
The New York Times quoted Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the safety board as saying the recommendation in part was prompted by the popularity of smart phones that people can use to e-mail, watch movies and play games.
“Every year, new devices are being released,” she said. “People are tempted to update their Facebook page, they are tempted to tweet, as if sitting at a desk. But they are driving a car,” Hersman said.
A study released in July by State Farm Insurance and the Governors Highway Safety Association notes that while texting likely increase the risk of a crash more than cell phone use, phone use also increases crash risk.
The study indicated that driver distraction is a cause in 15 to 25 percent of all accidents.
The association recommended that states consider a texting ban, and enforce existing laws. It did not recommend a universal ban. The association's website notes that nine states ban use of hand-held phones by drivers; none ban all cell phone use and some ban all cell phone use for certain groups of drivers, such as novice drivers or school bus drivers.
State Rep. David Tjepkes of R-Gowrie, who chairs the Iowa House transportation committee told the Des Moines Register: “We will certainly look at it.”
“You can’t dispute distracted driving is a problem," he told the Register. "You also have to go slow. You can only effect change to the degree that the driving public accepts it. You don’t want to pass laws that everyone ignores. That would be counterproductive.”
You can read the results of other Iowa Patch Polls here.