US National Safety Council Wants to Ban Cells While Driving

Speaking on your cell phone while driving is already a controversial debate. Some people say this might distract drivers from the road, others claim some persons are multi-tasking.

The US National Safety Council (NSC) seems to be in the camp against driving and speaking on the mobile phone at the same time as it has recently announced its intention to make motorists give up this dangerous habit. As if this wasn't enough, the Council wants drivers to stop using messaging devices while driving to better focus on the road. That being said, it is now struggling to convince governors and legislators in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to pass laws banning cell speaking while driving.

Their decision is not a whim as it may appear at the first sight but the result of a study conducted by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis estimating that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6 percent of crashes, which is equal to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths every year.

“Studies show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four times greater risk of a crash,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC. “Driving drunk is also dangerous and against the law. When our friends have been drinking, we take the car keys away. It’s time to take the cell phone away.”

The National Safety Council intends to accomplish this goal through a three-step program: advocating legislation, then educating the public and businesses about the risk of cell phone use while driving and supplementing distracted driving content in its training of 1.5 million people annually in defensive driving.

“The change we are looking for, to stop cell phone use while driving, won’t happen overnight. There will be a day, however, when we look back and wonder how we could have been so reckless with our cell phones and texting devices,” Froetscher said.

The initiative is certainly admirable, but given people's resistance to change, we have the impression there will be long way until notable results show up.
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