Should you have to hang up when you hit the road? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Should you have to hang up when you hit the road?

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Highway safety officials across the U.S. are coming together this weekend in Missouri to discuss whether or not to ban all cell phone use for drivers. A ban is already in place in the state of Arkansas for texting while driving. Now, highway safety officials are wanting to take it a step further.

Cell phones and driving, you see it all the time, but now, highway safety officials are proposing that drivers hang up when they hit the road. "They really are taking it overboard. I can understand text messaging and driving, but talking on the phone and driving is really not that big of a deal to me. They have devices like the blue tooth that you can put in your ear," says Desiree Swan.

The ban wouldn't only include handheld devices, but even hands-free technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found drivers that use cells phone are four times more likely to get into an injury related crash.

"I've come into some bad situations with it," says Chase Mooney, who was recently in a collision. "I had my phone up where I could look at it. I got a text in and took a quick look while I was taking a right, and I got in an accident," he says. While the accident involved texting and driving, he does say talking on the phone is just as much of a distraction. "You might be able to do it, but me myself, I'm distracted. You know I've done it of course but I believe there should be some kind of something going on."

The ban wouldn't be binding, and each state legislature would need to take action, but the idea is building momentum.

"I feel it needs to be outlawed," says James Smith. He says his car has been rear ended more than once because of drivers talking on the phone, and feels any cell phone use should be prohibited. "All of it. If it's an emergency, I think you should pull over. If you're driving down the road and you get a call, you need to wait," Smith says.

Eight states along with the District of Columbia already have a handheld cell phone ban in place, and 30 states, including Arkansas, have laws against texting and driving.

 

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