States and regulators should ban nonessential use of cellphones and other distracting portable electronic devices by operators across all modes of transportation – cars and trucks, planes, trains and vessels, and device manufacturers should perfect technology that disables cellphones and other devices when they are within reach of an operator while the vehicle is in operation. This draconian recommendation was made today by the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB, saying this could cut fatal highway accidents by more than half. the Associated Press says in a report.
The implementation would ban pretty much all cellphone use, even when used via Bluetooth and a hands-free kit. How drivers can be kept from using the phone while passenger can gab away is anybody’s guess.
The agency also recommends that “lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, on-board monitoring (for commercial drivers), and speed-limiting technology” be made mandatory as standard equipment in all motor vehicles.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers already complained that the gadgets would add thousands of dollars to already richly priced cars.