Heartland Institute Reacts to NTSB’s Call to Ban Use of Cell Phones While Driving

Published December 13, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday recommended all states ban the use of cell phones while driving. The NTSB previously had recommended such bans only for novice drivers, school bus drivers, and commercial truckers.

The following statement from Bruce Edward Walker, managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News, published by The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Driving responsibly is of paramount importance, but there are plenty of driver distractions beyond cell phone use. Should we ban those as well? What about the dangers of driving after dark when deer are rutting, babies are crying in the backseat, or during a snowstorm? Should we institute bans on driving then as well? Even changing a radio station or reading a street sign or billboard arguably are driving distractions – at least for a portion of the population for whom such multitasking is difficult.

“It seems absurd to focus on banning all drivers from using cell-phones when it’s but one of a plethora of distractions drivers experience every time they take the wheel.”

Bruce Edward Walker
Managing Editor, InfoTech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.