cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) calling for a complete ban on all cell phone use in vehicles seems like a classic case of governmental agencies either doing too much or too little. On the state scene, we have the GAB doing too little to be a meaningful agency. On the federal level, we have the NTSB going way beyond the level of common sense.
There is a very real problem with texting while driving, and that is especially true for younger drivers who have grown up with texting as a primary form of communication with peers. There can be a problem with using cell phones for talking to others if people are not very careful in the manner in which they use the phones. I have proved to myself that I have difficulties in dialing manually while driving; I have a tendency to cross over the center line, so I don’t initiate calls while moving. I have no problem answering the phone and talking while driving, so I do that when necessary.
Vehicles equipped with On Star or similar systems that rely on hands free voice-actuated dialing are perfectly fine since they do not require the person to take their eyes from the road. There are inattentive drivers. Those drivers are likely inattentive no matter what is going on inside their vehicle.
I see people reading newspapers spread across their steering wheels. I have seen people eating messy food while driving. I have seen people shaving. I have seen people applying eye make-up while driving. I have seen people steering with their knees because both hands were busy doing other things…and that person was merging into freeway traffic at the time.
Drivers simply need to pay attention to what they are doing, and that is driving a two-ton vehicle at significant speed in the midst of other traffic. There are inattentive driving laws in virtually all locales and states; those need to be aggressively enforced.
What we do not need is another intrusion into the realm of personal freedoms by a government agency banning all use of cell phones. I hope that was not a serious suggestion. If it was, that agency ought to be eliminated as should any other governmental agency that, itself, doesn’t use common sense.