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Drivers, troopers react to proposal to ban driver cellphone use

Posted December 13, 2011

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— A National Transportation Safety Board recommendation Tuesday that states ban all use of cellphones behind the wheel drove many people in the Triangle to question whether such a ban is necessary.

More than 100 WRAL News viewers sounded off about the idea on Facebook. Many said that a law banning all driver cellphone use goes too far and would be impossible to enforce.   

The North Carolina General Assembly voted in 2009 to make texting while driving illegal and troopers began issuing tickets in 2010 to drivers who violate that law.

But the State Highway Patrol says the texting law doesn't go far enough in preventing distracted driving.

Cellphones and driving NTSB recommends banning all driver cellphone use

"Distracted driving is a big issue and it is causing a lot of collisions out on the highways," said Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon.

For people who rely on using their cellphones in the car, they'd like to see a provision that would allow the use of hands-free devices.

"Banning all devices in the car, it doesn't make sense," said Darrell Herron, a traveling salesman who spends a lot of time on the road – and on the phone.

Still, he said he sees a lot of distracted drivers in his travels and thinks tightening the rules is a good idea.

Past attempts to pass legislation banning all driver cellphone use have failed in the state legislature.

Gordon said it's always a good idea to stay off the phone while driving, and pull over if answering or placing a call is absolutely necessary.

"No call is worth your death," he said. 

237 Comments

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  • chevy007 Dec 15, 2011

    @doghousebrewery.....It doesnt matter how many classes or driving schools they have been to, how long they have been driving, how well distinguished their driving skills are, all of the troopers,deputies, cops should still have to abide by all they laws they enforce. The main thing you are forgetting about them is They are not above the law, they are the law, but yet they still do things they issue tickets for.

  • rc136561 Dec 15, 2011

    So what the NTSB is saying is ban all cell phone use period?????????????? Does that mean that Public Safety Officers IE Police,Fire, EMS and other Law Enforcement and Public Safety officials have to abide by the rules of the road?????? I have witnessed several Fayetteville Police Officers nearly wreck while driving and scanning their on-board Laptop computers. This is just as dangerous as talking on a cell phone.

  • maryanns1016 Dec 15, 2011

    How about being reasonable, I agree talking on hands free is no different than talking to another person in your vehicle, especially children. We do however need to insure that our children are receiving very good driver training, including to never text while driving, also there needs to be longer probationary time for young people. Not that just young people are the problem. I agree with those who say people just are not responsible enough. I have just as much problem with people who think they are somehow entitled to drive on the road anyway they like, cutting people off, tailgating, speeding, they are all dangerous.

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Dec 15, 2011

    Probably at the point where people's behavior starts impacting on the safety of others. Otherwise, why not let people drive drunk or under other debilitating influences? All these things you mention are distractions which have been shown to increase the chance of accidents. But if you want to continue putting on your makeup while you drive, go ahead. I wouldn't want you to lose that freedom!
    davidk_at_unc
    December 14, 2011 1:34 p.m.
    Report abuse

    Can we still look at billboards? Female/male joggers? Paper maps? Can people still find a lighter for their cancer sticks? Eat? Drink? Yell at kids? Where does it stop with you libs? Plus you really think A LAW will STOP people from using their phones? REALLY? Did the "War on Drugs" stop drugs? Are you INSANE? Now people will not only use thier phones while driving they will now have an extra distraction of Big Brother looking for them doing it. Good job commies!

  • pirate09 Dec 15, 2011

    people just aren't responsible enough - ban them

    sounds like a trust issue to me, if you dont trust people enough on the road then dont drive! maybe we should work more on a better public transportation system so less people are on the road making bad decisions versus taking away talking in a vehicle while driving...ever thought of that?

  • kilnntime Dec 14, 2011

    I think the government needs to get out of all our business and stop making rules for how we should go about our daily business. If your going to ban cellphones then ban radios, they distract too, then ban brushing hair, shaving, applying makeup, eating ect too. This is rediculous and way over the edge of what the governments job discription.

  • nicolehayes2222 Dec 14, 2011

    People are careless drivers these days. Just like teenagers they think they know everything. When they first get their driver license. But they have a lot to learn.

  • GulfWarVet Dec 14, 2011

    I would propose that we allow people the freedom to do as they wish behind the wheel. However, if they are, in fact, and beyond any shadow of doubt, proven to have been voluntarily distracted at the time of a crash which leads to property damage, injury, death, or multiples, then they shall be found guilty as charged. They shall be uninsurable. They shall lose assets. They shall lose their rights of citizenship (no matter whether they were natural born, naturalized or immigrant) and be expected to leave the country in a reasonable amount of time... 24hrs. A law like that on the books would CERTAINLY curtail use better than any.

  • nicolehayes2222 Dec 14, 2011

    They are doing a good job. They really need to banned cell phone use while driving. In of story!

  • not my real name Dec 14, 2011

    Most people are terrible drivers even when they are NOT on the phone.

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