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Many people are guilty of talking on the phone or texting while driving, and now federal safety investigators are making an effort to ban those distractions.
The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all states impose a total ban except for emergencies. Spokesperson Kimberly Schwind said AAA is aware of the danger involved in operating cell phones behind the wheel, but she said the motor club is focusing attention specifically on texting.
"There's a lot of questions when you get into banning cell phones in general, both hand-held and hands-free," said Schwind. "There's a lot of things we need to look into before we could go ahead and say that it's a good thing to ban it. The main thing is that there isn't enough support to ban cell phones in general."
Schwind said a recent AAA survey found that 87% of drivers support a ban on texting, but only 50% are in favor of a ban on hands-free cell phone use. Justin Frank and Nathan Stout are both teen drivers whose parents have warned them about texting and driving.
"My mother was rear-ended by somebody who happened to be sending a message on his phone," said Stout. "He looked down to text, he looked up and there was a van right in front of him. He crushed the back of my mom's car, so it's a very real danger, and you might get yourself into an accident."
Although the NTSB doesn't have the power to impose restrictions, its recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers.