S. Fla. Drivers React To NTSB’s Recommended Cell Phone Ban

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – What do you think of a total ban on cell phone use and texting by drivers?

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that states should ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in the case of an emergency.

“According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents,” said NTSB chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices while driving. No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”

At first, many love it the idea of a total ban.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said one driver.  “I think I even find myself distracted by texting and driving, I’ll admit to it.”

But when drivers hear more details, and realize it means no phone at all, it’s suddenly not such a great idea.

“This means you couldn’t make a quick call to the boyfriend, the husband, the kids, nobody,” explained CBS 4’s Ted Scouten to Jessica Holley. “ With this day, everyone has Bluetooth, hands free head sets, I don’t think there’s a problem utilizing stuff like that,” said Holley.

“You wouldn’t be able to use that,” said Scouten.

With shock in her eyes, Holley quickly said, “I disagree with that then!”

“I just don’t see the difference between hands free talking and talking to a companion in the car,” said driver Angie Wade. “ So I don’t agree with banning the hands free too.”

“You should be more responsible and cognizant of what you’re doing on the road,” believe Teag Jones.  “ I don’t think there should be a law dictating whether you can use your phone while driving.”

Florida lawmakers have tried for several years to pass a text messaging ban, but have failed to do so. Another texting ban has been proposed for the upcoming 2012 legislative session.

“Doing nothing is not an option at this point,” cautioned Democratic State Senator Eleanor Sobel from Hollywood. She is pushing a “dangers of texting and driving” bill.  As much as she wants a total ban – she doesn’t see it happening in the current legislature.

“Reality in Florida is that this is not a priority,” she lamented. “I’d like us to address this issue as we addressed seat belts.”

Right now, the strongest legislation being discussed in Tallahassee is for a total ban on texting and driving. A violation would carry a $30 fine.  But it would be a secondary offense, meaning drivers could only be cited if they were pulled over for another infraction.  Insiders say the measure will likely fail.

More from Ted Scouten
Comments

One Comment

  1. joeypad says:

    if any of your loved ones was killed or maimed by one of these ahos texting or talking while driving wonder what your feelings would be then?????

    1. Carol says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more it so scarey to think some people’s mind is on two different things while driving.

      1. domingo says:

        carol you are so right they should bad it like in some of the states uo north if you are on the cell you get a $250.00 fine and points on the licenses same goes for texing specialy the kids i see them texing all the times i drive a big rig ans if we are on the cell or texing DOT will fine us $2,500.00 and pull the CDL for 6 months.

  2. Carol says:

    I don’t ever drive and also speak on my phone because I don’t have anything that important that I have to say right away.

    In the old days we were lucky to have one (1) phone the one at home to call friends and nobody got upset.

  3. ConcernedCitizen says:

    Most people lost in their cell phones today, do not remember the days of no phones. Those of us who had children and not able to talk to them right away, my children grew up and neither are disfunctional.. Grow up America, you can’t have it your way all the time. We need a law that can be enforced by police with a punishment suitable. If you don’t want the laws, go back to your countries and kill them there.

  4. DOMINGO says:

    I DRIVE A BIG RIG AND FOR USE THE USE OF HANDHELD CELL PHONES IS A FINE OF $2,500.00 SAME IF YOU ARE TEXING AND ALOT OF THE STATES HAVE THE LAW THE PROBLEM WILL BE MAKING INTO THATA COP WOULD BE ABLE TO STOP YOU IF YOU ARE TEXING OR HAVE THE CELL PHONE IN YOUR HAND NOT STOP YOU FOR SOMETHING ELSE AND THEN GIVE YOU THE TICKET FOR IT AND MAKE SURE THAT COPS DO INFORCE THE LAW LIKE IN NEW YORK AND OTHER STATES IF YOU ARE USING THE CELL YOU NEED TO HAVE A BLUETOOTH WITH IT NOT THE CELL ON THE HAND AND THEY SHOULD GIVE YOU POINTS ALSO AND NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE THEM OF BY GOING TO SCHOOL.

  5. Jimbo99 says:

    From my read of the article, if you bought a vehicle with hands free you can use it still as a driver & operating a motor vehicle. Sorry, I’m against that if 3rd party bluetooth is not allowed. I have no problem with a driver or anyone that uses the bluetooth feature, after they have gotten completely off the road and parked the car completely out of traffic. That way bluetooth is still an option to have as a feature in the car.

    “This means you couldn’t make a quick call to the boyfriend, the husband, the kids, nobody,”

    That is what I support, because that is distraction enough. Take the officer that drove his squad car up the support wire of a pole. Get your car off the road and safely parked where it inconveniences nobody. No exceptions ! Those type of phone calls are not 911 or *fhp emergemcies.

  6. Jimbo99 says:

    See, even the video, behind the steering wheel interviews, where was that done. You can interview people after they get out of their cars, not on the road/street.

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