State Highway Safety Chiefs Call For Handheld Cell Phone Ban


The Governors Highway Safety Assn. (GHSA) has called for the outlawing of all handheld cell phone use behind the wheel. . At last week’s GHSA annual meeting, the group broadened its support for legislation against distracted driving to include a ban for all drivers, not just truckers. Until this meeting, the association’s stance had been to support a ban against text messaging for all drivers, and a ban on all electronic devices for new drivers and school bus drivers.

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a ban on using mobile devices to hold conversations or send text messages while driving. This was brought on when the National Safety Council issued a statement that estimated that about 1.2 million accidents a year involve cell phones.

GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha has said that a ban on handheld use is just the first step. The solution to the problem of distracted driving would be a ban on any cell phone use in moving vehicles, whether handheld or not.

She cites studies that have shown that even when drivers have their hands free, the distraction of talking on a cell phone is enough to create a dangerous environment. The difficulties with a ban on hands-free cell phone use are two-fold. The most obvious is that it is incredibly difficult to enforce. A police officer who sees a driver talking in a car may assume that they were using a hands-free device, but the driver can easily claim that they were just talking to themselves. The officer would have no way to prove they were using a cell phone.

Additionally, if drivers aren’t allowed to use even hands free devices, all sorts of issues will crop up when drivers are forced to pull over every time they need to make a call. The lack of sufficient safe space for drivers to take a break, the wasted time not spent driving (and therefore earning), and delays on freight will all become much larger issues. Not to mention the drivers who spend most of their day on a hands-free device talking to friends and family.

Cell phone use is being legislated nationwide, and many states are taking action in responsible ways, but distracted driving is still a huge cause of accidents. The perfect balance has not yet been found, so it is up to all of us to hold ourselves responsible and keep each other safe.




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22 comments. Add a comment.

  1. Jim R Hyde Jr says

    About time someone woke up and realized it wasn’t just truck drivers causing all the accidents. Of course they have enforce the law In order for it we be effective.

  2. JT says

    All cell phone companies need to disable the texting feature of all cell phones while the PHONE is in motion over 3 miles per hour. Quallcomm does this with OBC’s and it can be done with cell phones…..whats the holdup…get it done

  3. Isaac G says

    If talking on handsfree devices is considered they may as well say they are going to ban talking to your co-driver or singing along with the music playing.

  4. frank brown says

    Seen when is it up to others to make everyone responsible.
    Stop with all the regulations, its not necessary.
    You people that want big brother to run your life’s go live in Ukraine or somewhere someone
    Can change your diapers for you. Because the USA is all about the freedom of choice.
    And our freedom is slowly being taken away.
    Grow a set and become yourself not someone the government wants you to be!

  5. Mike says

    They should call for a handheld ban. People talking on cell phones, texting and driving is getting out of hand. As far as I’m concerned they should ticket and fine the crap out of these people. Truckers included. I can’t count the times on the road a two wheeler would be driving erratically, for me to only look down and see them texting or talking on the phone, or some other activity they shouldn’t be trying to do while driving.

  6. Derek says

    WIth todays Blue tooth technology, whether an ear peice or built into the vehicle radio system, there should be no reason anyone not using a hands free device.

  7. Driver says

    Disabling phone features (texting) if/when the device is moving at speeds above 3 mph (or any other speed) is not a realistic solution. Think of all the people that are moving that fast, but NOT driving — passengers in cars, buses, subways, cabs — pretty much any public transportation, where working/communicating while in motion is a part of life.

    Need a different sollution than that one.

  8. Jim Taylor says

    What would be wrong with teaching people how to drive? There is never a reason to send, or read a text message while driving, but hands free, SHOULD be ok, so long as the person driving CAN drive! Remember, the ability to drive has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to get a drivers licenses! That is just common knowledge! I was truly shocked to find out that “Truck Driving School” does not teach you how to drive a truck! All they do, is teach you how to get a CDL!
    So again, I will suggest that people know how to drive BEFORE getting a licenses.

  9. BoredinTexas says

    They have also issued a ban on Nose picking! Do not do it behind the wheel or you could face a $500.00 fine and imprisonment. In addition, do not and I mean do not scratch your head, elbow, or any other part of your body while driving your rig. As we know this leaves one less hand on the steering wheel and it is distractive driving. If you’re still not sure what is legal, just call the Nanny State officials for all rules!

  10. Gs3 says

    We have not issue with such reguations.
    We just want see if those that are so geared on passing these laws enforce them within there
    own group.

  11. jim cox says

    Frank Brown, you are the idiot. not JT. the technology should be in full swing to disable texting only while driving. I run alot over to Chicago and it is extremely terrible overr there with those moronic 4 wheelers texting while driving. I completely agree with you JT. And by the way Frank, I do have a set and I have been trucking for 22yrs.

  12. says

    If big goverment makes it so you cant even use a blue tooth or hands free then fmcsa will need to change hours of service once again so they can allowy us drivers to pull of the road and make are phone calls under off duty and not go against are 14 hours if they would make the fine for texting and driving the for 4wheelers as much as it is for us truck drivers that would take care of most of the problems that and everyone that has a drivers licenes take an IQ TEST it’s getting sicking that big goverment wants to make the target on us truckers bigger and try to get more money out of us

  13. William Brewer says

    I am also hoping this ban includes Local and State Police?? I see way to many using cellphones while cruzing?? Just an observation, or are they exempt from laws of the General public???

  14. Nick says

    I’ve never had an issue texting or talking while driving, but I guess I’m just smart enough to realize I’m DRIVING and pay attention to the road more than I do the phone. That’s the majority of the issue.. people are stupid and can only do one thing at once. They get tunnel vision when they’re texting and don’t both to look up once but every five-ten seconds while doing 65 down the road. Uh, hello.. of course you’re going to have an accident.

    Pretty soon it’s going to be illegal to be eating or drinking while you’re driving too. Too much government interference in today’s life, they’re trying to idiot proof society and it’s only making the sheep dumber.

  15. Mind Games says

    Jim we don’t need it what’s needed is better training reviews for all and classes that teach how to drive and talk on Bluetooth headsets and sure the text forbidden while driving should be mandatory.
    More technology leads to more big brother. You give give brother a crack and in less than s week him and all his cousins will be in your car and in your life.
    What are you doing? Who are you talking to? Where are you going? Why are you here? What time did you stop? When are you going to bed? What did you eat last night? Etc….
    Education is the key and if that don’t work then take the key!

  16. Mind Games says

    In Delaware its against the law to talk on ya phone and or CB radio too while the vehicle is in motion. The law passed even with ham operators complaints they still passed it!

  17. ROFLMAO!!!! says

    here they are passing all these cell phone and texting laws but The TOP 1 percent they or anyone else is talking about is what about the police and emergency vechicles that use this equipment while thy work what about them being fined and arrested because they are techinally commercial vechicles also!!!!!!!

  18. mskitty says

    so, my question is (and of course, i’m being a smart aleck here), WHEN are they going to make it illegal to read street signs and drive? I mean, WHO hasn’t been distracted trying to find where they are going reading the 8,000 signs per exit to figure out where the heck to exit, which lane to be in, etc? ESPECIALLY in New England! This is just a matter of too much regulation, and not enough common sense. The sad thing is that without the regulations, the stupid people would not know what to do…even though the ones without the common sense (who are the ones causing the problems) are not informed about the current laws, so what’s the point of making them?

    Just sayin…

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