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US government calls for ban of all cellphone use in cars

If the National Transportation and Safety Board has its way, US citizens would be banned from talking on any cellphone or personal electronic devices while they are driving a moving vehicle. Today, the Washington Post reports that the NTSB will hold a press conference later today to go over the details of its recommendations.

The proposed ban on cellphone use while driving follows the completion of an investigation by the NTSB of a massive car pile up in Missouri in 2010 where two people died and 38 people were injured. One of the two people who was killed was the 19 year old driver of a pickup truck who either sent or received 11 text messages on his cellphone over a period of 11 minutes before his truck collided with a school bus full of children.

There is one exception to this recommendation. The NTSB says that cellphones and other similar devices can be used by drivers in emergency situations; Bluetooth devices are also excluded from the recommendation list.

While the board has no authority to create or enforce traffic and safety laws, its recommendations could influence state lawmakers into taking action. It's more than possible that a large number of US states, if not all of them, will draft laws that will follow the NTSB's proposals.

Update: CNN reports that this ban would not apply to hands-free devices.

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