A transportation advisory board is recommending that all commercial drivers be forbidden from using cell phones while driving, whether the devices are hand-held or hands-free.
The recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) comes in connection with a report on a truck crash in March 2011 that killed 11 people in Kentucky.
A truck driver crossed a 65-foot median, went through a cable barrier and hit a passenger van. The truck driver and 10 of the 12 people in the van were killed.
The NTSB found that the truck driver was on his cell phone at the time of the crash, had made four calls in the minutes before the crash, and had used the cell 69 times while driving during the previous 24 hours.
The Department of Transportation proposed a rule last December to prohibit commercial drivers from talking on cell phones. The proposal is in the public comments phase. A ban on texting for commercial drivers already exists.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has described himself as “on a rampage” about drivers using cell phones.
Thirty-four states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone.
Nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
Should commercial drivers be banned from using cell phones? Should the ban extend to all drivers? Does your company have a policy on cell phones while driving? Let us know what you think in the comments below.