September 14, 2011

NTSB calls for ban on mobile phone use by commercial drivers

Citing distraction from the use of a mobile phone by the driver of an 18-wheel semi-truck as the probable cause of a crash that killed 11 people, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended banning the use of mobile phones by commercial drivers except in emergencies.

"Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and travels at highway speeds."

At the meeting, the NTSB issued 15 new safety recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Governors Highway Safety Association, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia.

The NTSB also reiterated two previously issued recommendations to the FMCSA.

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings and a complete list of all the safety recommendations, is available here.

 

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