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3000 more than 3000 people were killed last year due to distracted driving but -- eliminating all cell phone use behind the wheel.
The National Transportation Safety Board thinks yes is calling for a nationwide cellphone ban for drivers.
Joining me now NTSB's chairman Deborah person and Deborah thank you for being on the show it's great to have you on this news.
I don't ask you about the decision of the timing of this is as the first time that you've come out and really push for a nationwide ban.
On all cell -- -- why now.
Oh really -- work started a decade ago we recommended a band for drivers that -- in -- -- stage of their driving per meant a ban on wireless devices in 2003.
That's been embraced by many states.
We also investigated accidents where we -- bus drivers talking on the phone.
I recommended a ban on.
Bus drivers in 2006.
And then this past year we saw commercial truck drivers operating -- down pat -- thousand pound vehicles in accidents and we recommended a ban on them.
This most recent recommendation really stems from an accident that occurred in -- which -- driver was sending or receiving eleven attacks -- -- eleven minutes before the accident.
-- he started a chain reaction accident in which to be were killed 38 were injured school buses.
Were involved it was a very dangerous situation.
And we've seen it with trains as well with train drivers throughout the country as well I think of the San Diego accident.
-- ever if there's the -- you you do need you yourself cannot enact legislation you would be congress and the White House.
To back you up to push this through -- -- conversations.
With either the White House -- congressional leaders the leads you to believe that they -- some help put this -- -- for you next year.
Well and in fact.
Our recommendation is to the fifty states entered District of Columbia to pass laws.
In their jurisdictions to ban drivers and we really look at this like drunk driving or seat belt use are putting your child in a child restraint.
Where -- states pass laws they have good education campaigns and and that's backed up by strong enforcement that's when we're gonna see change in behavior.
I don't know why they and everything from the vehicle now what is the difference -- me having my hands free here New York which I'm legally allowed to do.
Vs talking to a passenger that sitting next to me -- the difference.
Well there is a difference on this cell -- the conversation on the cell -- is taking place.
Really in a vacuum that that other person on the other end of the line they're not aware of the situation they're not able to assist you and think about the passenger in the car.
That you are aware that but it's something like a co pilot.
They know when -- workload gets heavy for you they know when -- merging or you're in a difficult situation they're not expecting you to respond and in fact sometimes they can help you out.
There are a lot of distractions in the car.
Distractions have been around forever.
And in -- with driving they've been around since the model T we recognize that.
But cell phone's texting and these conversations and ipads and everything else that you can bring into the car.
Really out a new twist to that distraction.
Well this may be a little bit of ahead for the business community -- particular company like Ford Motor who is backed just unveiling.
It's called the saint and it's again it's voice command in the car as a -- a lot of money -- hundred time.
Into bringing hands free communication to vehicles are you worried about pushed back for the business community overall.
Well I think certainly were worried about.
How well these recommendations are going to be received.
But while technology has created some of these challenges I think technology also has the potential.
To come up with some of the solutions for these problems and it's really about research looking at human factors and making sure that what you're introducing.
Is actually aiding the driver and their task not detracting from the driving task at hand.
There's a time in a place to surf the web to talk on the phone to send messages to update your FaceBook.
But it's not when you're behind the way -- no call no text no post is worth -- human life.
Have you gotten any pushed back from the self and in streaming they have a trade organizations CT IAA it's it's it's a lobbying group.
Certainly if congress and the White House does decide to -- -- -- like this there's going to be some voices are going to be participating in this debate nationwide have you heard from the group.
Well we in fact also issued recommendations to CT IAA in this report where we asked them to look at tech.
Knology so that drivers could if they chose voluntarily.
To -- their phones down.
Or their devices down when the vehicle is in motion there are apps that are out there today that led drivers -- this or develop technology to help drivers.
To shut this down I know that there's an awful lot of parents of teenagers out there.
Who want to make sure that they're not distracted behind the -- it really applies to all of us.
And it's bids we've seen -- is -- stories throughout the year Debra certainly is something needs to change Deborah -- the National Transportation Safety Board chairman thank you -- Happy to be with.