The Cell Phone Car Ban: What People Are Saying

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board released a recommendation that all cell phone use be banned while driving in the U.S. – even hands-free devices. Naturally, this has provoked a wide variety of reactions across the country, although we suspect that auto insurance companies were jumping for joy at the very idea of such a ban.

Here are some of the more…well…interesting comments that people have in response to it.

“We don’t take surveys to try to figure out what we should say… we’re asking people to change behavior. We’re asking people to do things that might be hard. We’re not here to win a popularity contest.” – NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman during a C-SPAN appearance on December 19, 2011

“…even when participants looked directly at objects in the driving environment, they were less likely to create a durable memory of those objects if they were conversing on a cellphone. …Moreover, in-vehicle conversations do not interfere with driving as much as cellphone conversations do, because drivers are better able to synchronize the processing demands of driving with in vehicle conversations than with cellphone conversations.” – “Cell Phone –Induced Driver Distraction,” University of Utah, August 2009

“The Insurance Institute (for Highway Safety) has studied crash rates before and after bans were enacted in various states and also compared them to crash rates in nearby states with no such bans. While the bans have resulted in actual reductions in phone use, they have not resulted in any reduction in crash rates…”, December 15, 2011

“Cell phones were only one of 15 sources of distraction identified in the report and accounted for only 18% of the total cases. Other even more common activities like eating, drinking and smoking in the car accounted for more fatal accidents, but were not included in the call for a ban. The report also does not clearly differentiate between texting and talking on a cell phone, nor does it analyze the difference between talking on a hand held versus a hands free device…” – Dave Nalle,, December 20, 2011

“Americans tolerate all kinds of danger, death and even mayhem in the name of personal freedom. We insist on it, in fact, and policymakers listen. The U.S. political system routinely prioritizes freedom over safety… the cell phone has practically become standard equipment in most American cars, and there’s virtually no chance the government will pry it out of there.” – Rick Newman, Yahoo! News, December 14, 2011

“You never let me do ANYTHING! I HATE YOU Federal government! I HATE YOU! It isn’t fair! CANADA gets to talk on their cell phones when they’re driving! ENGLAND gets to do it, too! Why can’t I?! I’ll bet REAGAN would have let me drive with a cell phone! REAGAN let me do anything! I’m going to my room to blast `Death Cab for Cutie’ and watch `Twilight’ movies… call me down when you’re ready to apologize!” – Talk show host Glenn Beck*, December 13, 2011

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*- as “reported” by Matt Rock on the satire site

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