- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
- CDC sees measles spike and ‘failure to vaccinate’
- Ex-Secret Service agent seeking Md. seat: Everyone’s a ‘de facto criminal’ now
- New prosthetic hand technology lets amputees feel again
US urges ban on texting, talking while driving
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ren Bishop is one of many American drivers who texts, tweets and talks on her cellphone while she’s behind the wheel _ and thinks it should be up to drivers to use their discretion when it comes to safety.
Though she admits thumbing her phone while driving is bad habit, the University of Missouri student says drivers “are mature enough to understand when it is appropriate and when it is not.”
The National Transportation Safety Board disagrees, and it declared Tuesday that texting, emailing or chatting while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed anywhere in the United States.
The board is urging all states to impose total bans except for emergencies following recent deadly crashes, including one in Missouri after a teenager sent or received 11 text messages within 11 minutes.
The unanimous recommendation from the five-member board would apply even to hands-free devices, a much stricter rule than any current state law.
NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman acknowledged that complying would involve changing what has become ingrained behavior for many Americans.
“We’re not here to win a popularity contest,” she said. “No email, no text, no update, no call is worth a human life.”
Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, while nine states and Washington, D.C., bar hand-held cellphone use. Thirty states ban all cellphone use for beginning drivers. But enforcement is generally not a high priority, and no states ban the use of hands-free devices for all drivers.
The immediate impetus for the NTSB’s recommendation was last year’s deadly pileup near Gray Summit, Mo., involving a 19-year-old pickup driver.
The board said the initial collision was caused by the teen’s inattention while texting a friend about events of the previous night. The pickup, traveling 55 mph, hit the back of a tractor truck that had slowed for highway construction. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, and a second school bus rammed into the back of the first bus.
The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured.
In Missouri, texting is illegal for drivers 21 and under, which means the law would have applied to the 19-year-old. But the ban isn’t aggressively enforced, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said.
“Without the enforcement, the laws don’t mean a whole lot,” he said.
The law didn’t apply to 22-year-old Bishop when she was pulled over Monday night for swerving while texting on the University of Missouri campus.
She blames a late night and schoolwork. The officer who stopped her told her to put her phone in the back seat and sent her home with a warning.
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Budget negotiators look to federal workers for benefit concessions
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
White House pets gone wild!