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POLL: Should Iowa Ban All Cell Phone Use By Drivers?

Federal transportation experts recommend the ban, which politicians predict will be unpopular.

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.

rob December 15, 2011 at 01:09 AM
i agree along with the fact that police officers can barely write a traffic ticket / i don't want to over load their thought process
Anne Carothers-Kay December 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM
One of the criticisms of banning cell phone use is that the current laws are not being enforced. Still if the law were on the books, wouldn't that be a deterrent. What do you think?
bob arbuckle December 15, 2011 at 02:29 PM
All of these comments focus on the negative. My daughter called me while I was driving and needed ny help when the cord on the vacuum cleaner shorted out and caught fire. If I had not answered the phone she might have died in a house fire. They also need to do a study on the number of emergencies where cell phones saved lives or serious injuries. I bet the positives out way the negatives.
CFBusinessOwner December 15, 2011 at 02:50 PM
With all due respect when a fire starts they should call 911. That's what the fire department is trained to handle. I've almost been in two head-on collisions with folks who were zoned out while driving and talking on their cell phones. It's unfortunate that we've become a society where my right to talk/text on cell phones while driving is more important that a fellow citizen's safety. Pull over if you want to text/chat. The life you save could be your own.
Dana Boone December 16, 2011 at 11:27 PM
I think banning cell phone use while driving is going too far. I do, however, agree with banning it for semi drivers, school bus drivers and teens and the like. ...The law can't begin to cover all the driving distractions that exist.

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