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NTSB Wants To Ban Talking While Driving, Even With Hands-Free Devices

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Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush and Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Forget texting while driving.  The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to ban talking while you’re behind the wheel, as well — except in emergencies.

Handheld or hands-free, it doesn’t matter, says the NTSB, because driving is taking a backseat to voice and text conversations.

The ban would cover all portable electronic devices, and goes well beyond any regulations on the books. Lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan with PCMag.com says it goes beyond what’s practical, too:

“You need to take driving seriously. But that doesn’t mean that the only thing you can do is stare at the road, silently gripping the wheel, talking to no one.”

Now, Segan calls texting while driving “hideously dangerous.”  In fact, this push by the NTSB comes in connection with a horrible deadly crash last year in Missouri with a TWD teen. Banning talking would be even tougher to enforce.

“And doesn’t get to the heart of the problem which is really these activities that take your eyes off the road.”

Drivers in Pennsauken like the no-text ban already on the books, though they say it could probably be better enforced.  But they say, they don’t see the point of banning hands-free devices.

“It’s ridiculous, if you don’t have the phone in your hands and you’re driving, can’t you talk while you’re driving?”

“I think it’s going to far, because, you know with a Bluetooth, you don’t have anything in your hands so I think it’s going too far.”

“Yeah, I think it’s really ridiculous that they doin’ that.  Really ridiculous.”

One person did say he likes the idea of a hands-free ban, saying with many headsets or Bluetooth devices, people still have to look down to dial.

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