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U.S. Safety Board Urges Cellphone Ban for Drivers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The New York Times

State Senator Joe Simitian of California, who succeeded in getting a law passed in 2006 that bans drivers there from talking on a hand-held phone, called the board’s recommendation “a wake-up call about the dangers of distracted driving.”

Yet, he also said he doubted it would achieve the desired result because it was unlikely that legislators in California or elsewhere would be able to pass such a ban. Mr. Simitian noted that he spent five years trying to push a ban on hand-held devices, and faced intense opposition from the phone industry.

“It’s a political nonstarter,” he said, adding that he would not attempt to propose a total ban on drivers using their devices. “I don’t believe you’ll see such a ban in my lifetime.” For all his skepticism, though, he acknowledged that political winds could shift. “A decade ago, people didn’t think we’d have a hands-free law in California. Only time will tell.”

View the full story (The New York Times)