NTSB Vice Chairman Testifies on Nationwide Ban on Driver Cell-phone Use

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–February 10, 2012.  In December 2011, following a Board meeting on a 2010 multi-vehicle highway accident in Gray Summit, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Following the meeting, Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said, “It’s time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.” (See HAR1103.pdf)

On Monday, February 13, 2012, at 10:00 A.M. (EST), NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart will testify before the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation on the NTSB’s cell- phone ban recommendation.

“In the last decade, the NTSB has identified the use of a portable electronic device as a factor in the probable cause of eight accidents and incidents across all transportation modes. Forty-six people died and 181 were injured in these events,” said Vice Chairman Hart. “In light of this and the growing penetration of portable electronic devices in the United States, the NTSB is concerned and believes that now is the time to act to preserve safety for everyone on our roadways.”

The NTSB did not come to this recommendation lightly. It has noted distracted operations in its aviation, rail, highway, and marine accident investigations for almost 10 years, and distraction has been a continuously growing concern. Before issuing the recommendation, the NTSB carefully considered accident statistics and research on the issue of distracted driving. While the specific statistics and findings may differ among studies, the ultimate conclusion is the same: talking or texting while driving-even on a hands-free device-distracts the driver from the driving task, increasing the risk of an accident.

For additional information about the NTSB’s recommendations on portable electronic devices, please visit or

The hearing will be held in the Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York, and can be viewed via live stream at: