NTSB Recommends Nation Wide Cell Phone Ban

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WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board recommended a nation-wide ban on all electronic device use by drivers Tuesday.

The recommendation is the result of an investigation into a fatal accident in Gray Summit, Missouri last August. The accident happened when a 19-year-old pick-up truck driver slammed into the back of a tractor trailer, and then two school busses slammed in behind.

The pickup truck driver texted 11 times in the 11 minutes before the wreck. Both he and a 15-year-old student on one of the buses died. 38 others were injured in the accident.

In 2010, there were 21 fatal accidents state-wide involving cell phone use.

The NTSB made recommendations to Governor Nixon Tuesday. Some of those recommendations include revising state regulations to require a periodic safety review of school buses, modifying school bus inspection procedures to make sure brake defects can be identified during biannual inspections, and requiring students travelling on a school bus are instructed in safe ride practices and emergency evacuations.

The board recommended the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education incorporate the risk of driver inattention, the need for proper scanning behavior, and the need to keep a safe following distance in bus driver training.

Nationally, the board recommends a ban on the use of portable electronic devices for all drivers except in the case of an emergency, use of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration high enforcement to support the ban, and creation of targeted campaigns to inform motorists of the new laws and warn the dangers of distracted driving.

It's now up to Missouri legislators to decide whether or not to make the recommendation a law and ban the use of electronic devices state-wide.