The Detroit Free Press is reporting that legislation introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives may ban drivers from even holding a cell phone while behind the wheel. The Safe Drivers Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, aims to prevent all drivers from holding any mobile device while operating a vehicle by directing the Department of Transportation to enact standards to prohibit the behavior. McCarthy said that making phone calls, texting or using apps is just as dangerous as drunk driving and much more prevalent.

The legislation incorporates provisions for a Department of Transportation study on whether or not talking on the phone at all poses a serious safety risk. The findings would be reported in two years time, at which time adjustments to the measure might be considered.

Meanwhile, drivers would still be allowed to use hands-free devices for mobile communication. Additionally, certain emergency situations would exempt drivers from penalty if caught using a phone while driving.

The Detroit Free Press says that presently, just nine states already ban drivers from holding a phone while driving.


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  • 80 Comments
      kontroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see the same smiling idiot soccer mom stereotype in my neighborhood with the same bleached out white teeth, driving a stupid infiniti or lexus monster SUV, while their chubby husbands are sweating bullets jogging around in their effort to lose their potbellies...Yes this is who we are in the suburbs. This is a good law to be introduced, I don't care if it's by the congress, president or Sarah Palin, for the sake of the innocent affected victims,
      katsuronishi
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to start with the Police Departments! 7 out of every 10 police cars I see on the road have Policemen driving while on their cell phones!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @katsuronishi
        [blocked]
          SloopJohnB
          • 3 Years Ago
          Most of the time they're entering license plates into the laptop...LOL! Saw a cop doing that at an intersection (guy in front got his plate entered). 10 seconds after they got through the intersection the lights and siren went on and the guy was pulled over.
        jmi2
        • 3 Years Ago
        @katsuronishi
        the insurance companies have 'research' that shows the bans statistically don't reduce accidents; what causes accidents is 'distracted driving'; ummm, isn't that an oxymoron? talking or texting while driving is kinda distracting... what my friends who are on forces tell me is that they use the cellphone for police business! i thought that was what their radio is for? of course they shrug their shoulders...
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      But what will Police Officers do then while driving on duty? They may actually have to pay attention and enforce laws.
      DarwinianReject
      • 3 Years Ago
      Forget banning X while driving. Let's ban human operation on public roads. It's the meatbag behind the wheel that's the problem. Take the meatbag out of the equation and then we can get as drunk and distracted as we want! I could use a nap on my commute to work. Think of all the ways in which a mesh-network, computer-controlled personal transportation system would be infinitely more efficient. No streetlights, no speed limits, no road rage, more efficient vehicles, no traffic, sex during your commute, keggers on your way home from work, a line of 30 cars drafting each other at 120 MPH, and on, and on, and on! It will take many years, to reach this, but imagine how AWESOME it would be! "But what happens if the computer crashes and makes the car crash?" Don't you think that will happen WAY less often than meatbag-caused accidents now? "But I like DRIVING my car." Great! Drive it on designated roads and tracks that allow meatbag operation. Keep it off public roadways! We can make this happen! Vote DarwinianReject in 2016!
      Termin8
      • 3 Years Ago
      This IS just another piece of "feel-good" legislation. Other than making it impossible for mobile electronics to function within the automobile, there's little that can be done to stop drivers from being distracted by such devices. Yeah, you can make it the law that a headset must be worn but, that only helps minimize distractions while on the actual call. Making, and even sometimes taking calls still generally requires the user handle the phone. The only thing I can see helping this situation, is an automated system that monitors the drivers line of vision. If you're not looking forward for more than "X" amount of time, an alarm will sound. It might be tough to program this kind of thing though. I know I'm constantly scanning mirrors etc. to keep an eye out for all kinds of things. Learned this while riding motorcycles when I was a kid. And as for people whining about the cost of BlueTooth headsets, you don't "need" to use them. The standard corded headsets work just fine. Actually, they generally work BETTER than most BlueTooth sets.
      Tone
      • 3 Years Ago
      You shall...not...pass! /Gandalf
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Absolutely. Yapping on the phone while driving, whether hands free or hand held, should be banned. Primary offense, not secondary. OTOH, it's clearly not enforceable...DWB reigns anyway. I've seen people back up while on the phone, go through left hand turns with pedestrians in crosswalks, blow through red lights while screaming on the phone...and these are handheld or hands-free. Only solution is to ban them and make the penalty for using one severe...like loss of license for 30 days.
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love the stock photo.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeremy Pennini
        Yes, it's a classic and would be funny if it weren't so true. You can see tens or hundreds of these any day in the suburbs.
          Jeremy Pennini
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BG
          You see teen stock photo's in the suburbs? They grow up so quickly *tear*
      buffettsims
      • 3 Years Ago
      why is the US Gov't wasting our time with this. This is a State Issue not a US Gov't issue. How about they tackle the Debt instead of worrying what happens on STATE ROADWAYS. Let the states handle this issue on their own. None of the Federal Gov't business.
      HuskerBadger
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's so easy for Congress to pass laws like this. Afterall, they're just sitting in the back of limo USING THEIR CELLPHONE!
      jmi2
      • 3 Years Ago
      this statistics are clear and obvious; what i don't understand is why the cellphone companies don't get behind this! wouldn't they make millions and millions more if everyone had to buy a bluetooth headset or a car with it already installed through the audio system?
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somewhat related: Since the ban in CA (or maybe just since the iPhone coming down in price), I have noticed more and more people driving with headphones in both ears, and they never drive well. I feel like I have to dodge someone in headphones every day, and it's not like my horn really helps when someone has both ears stuffed with noise. Frankly, I'd rather have the cell phones in one ear. Also, I'm pretty sure headphones in both ears is illegal and it's just going totally unenforced, unlike using a cell phone which cost me $170 in December. Ouch, but my own fault. I'm not saying they should lift the ban, but I feel that all forms of distracted driving that have a law prohibiting them should have that law enforced just as much as the holding your cell phone ban.
        Johnny-wat
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        Really depends frankly. My car is LOUD on the highway, and headphones save me from having hearing problems. It's not like I ripped out the stock exhaust and have a blaring exhaust. It's just the nature of the beast (S2000). When it's that loud, it's not like I can hear your horn or car approaching anyway.
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