Washington, DC - In an effort to reduce highway crashes --
the leading cause of death among 15- to 20- year-olds -- the
National Transportation Safety Board today urged States to
prohibit inexperienced teenaged drivers from using wireless
communications devices while they are learning to drive.
"An average of more than 120 young people die every
week in vehicle crashes in this country. It's a tragedy
that repeats itself in every city and community and it has
to stop," said Acting NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "We
must do everything we can to reduce these needless deaths
and we strongly believe that banning wireless communications
devices for teenagers learning to drive will help
At a public meeting today the NTSB added restricting
wireless communications devices for young learners on its
"Most Wanted List" of transportation safety improvements.
The recommendation, H-03-8, has been added to the
Promote Youth Highway Safety area of the list. Currently 11
States and the District of Columbia have laws related to
wireless communication devices and young drivers, but only
eight States have laws prohibiting their use by learners in
both the permit and intermediate stages.
The Board also removed two recommendations, calling
for comprehensive underage drinking and driving or "Age 21"
laws, and nighttime driving restrictions for young novice
drivers, from the list. Focused advocacy efforts have
resulted in more than 80 percent of the States implementing
the two recommendations that are part of the Board's Promote
Youth Highway Safety issue area.
The Most Wanted list's six issue areas and the
recommendations are summarized below.
Improve Child Occupant Protection
Between 1995 and 2004 more than 3,800 child automobile
occupants were killed in traffic crashes. About 86% of the
children killed, aged 4 though 8, were unrestrained or
improperly restrained in adult-sized seat belts.
Safety Recommendation H-96-14 calls for States to
require mandatory use of child restraint systems for
children up to 8 years old. Thirty-three States and the
District of Columbia require the use of booster seats
although only 11 and the District of Columbia require use
through age seven as the Board recommended.
Primary Seat Belt Enforcement
Primary enforcement of seat belt laws is the single
most important measure that States can take to reduce the
death toll from highway crashes. Almost 31,700 people died
in automobile crashes in 2004, 55 percent of those killed
were unrestrained. Lap/shoulder belts, when used, reduce the
risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent.
Further when adults buckle up 86 percent of children are
buckled up but when adults do not buckle up, the percentage
of restrained children drops to 50.
Safety Recommendation H-97-2 asks States to enact
legislation allowing law enforcement to cite people for not
wearing seat belts even when no other violation is evident.
The recommendation also calls for seat belt violations to
include driver's license penalty points and appropriate
fines. Twenty-two States and the District of Columbia have
enacted primary enforcement laws. Only the District of
Columbia, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands assess
penalty points for seat belt violations.
Promote Youth Highway Safety
Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of
death for young drivers, 15 to 20 years old. From 1995-2004
about 64,000 young people died in traffic crashes - more
than 122 each week.
The Board's recommendations in this area have focused
on improving several factors noted in crashes involving
young drivers. While young drivers do only 20 percent of
their driving at night, over half of the crash fatalities
occur during nighttime hours. The risk of a crash involving
a young driver increases with each additional teen passenger
in the vehicle and, in 2004, 24 percent of the fatally
injured drivers aged 15-20 were legally impaired by alcohol.
Safety Recommendation H-93-1 asked States to enact
drinking age (age 21) laws that prohibit persons under age
21 from attempting to purchase, purchasing, publicly
possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages as well as
prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under
age 21. Currently all 50 States and the District of Columbia
now prohibit the alcohol sale, public possession of alcohol,
and the use of fraudulent or false identification to
purchase alcohol. Forty-six States prohibit under age
purchase and 42 states prohibit under age attempt to
Safety Recommendation H-93-9 called for States to
restrict nighttime driving privileges for young drivers,
especially between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Forty- three States plus the District of Columbia and Guam have
nighttime driving restrictions generally starting around 11
p.m. to midnight.
Safety Recommendations H-93-1 and H-93-9 were changed
to a Closed-Acceptable Action status because of the majority
of States have taken the recommended action and removed from
the Most Wanted List.
Safety Recommendation H-02-30 asks States to restrict
the number of passengers under age 20 for young drivers with
provisional licenses for at least six months. Thirty-three
States and the District of Columbia have passenger
restriction laws for young drivers. In 20 States the
restriction is in place for at least 6 months.
Safety Recommendation H-02-32 calls for a three-stage
graduated licensing system for young drivers including
passenger restrictions during the provisional stage. Thirty- nine States and the District of Columbia have adopted
comprehensive systems including all of the elements
recommended by the Board. Eleven States have enacted partial
Eliminate Hard Core Drinking Driving
In 2004 there were 16,694 alcohol-related traffic
crash fatalities and 54 percent of those fatalities involved
hard core drinking drivers. A hard core drinking driver is a
repeat offender with a prior driving-while-intoxicated
arrest within the past 10 years, or an offender with a blood
alcohol content of 0.15 percent or greater.
Safety Recommendation H-00-26 encourages States to
establish a comprehensive program, containing 11 elements,
designed to prevent hard core drinkers from driving. Since
the Board issued the recommendation in 2000, at least 22
States and the District of Columbia have adopted one or more
elements of the model program but only 5 States have
developed programs sufficient to close the recommendation
for the State.
School Bus/Grade Crossing Safety
Although school bus grade crossing accidents are
infrequent, the results are disastrous when they do occur.
Passive grade crossings are especially dangerous because
there are no lights or audible warning systems to indicate
when a train is approaching. Requiring bus drivers to "stop,
look, and listen" before entering a grade crossing helps
ensure the safety of all children on a school bus.
Safety Recommendation H-01-38 proposes that States
implement a program to install stop signs at crossings,
enhance bus driver training, and require noise-reducing
switches. Six States have installed stop signs at crossings.
Thirty-two States have enhanced driver training, and 12
States now require noise-reducing switches (to mute the
radio, heater and air conditioner) on newly purchased school
Enhance Recreational Boating Safety
Last year more than 600 people were killed in
recreational boating accidents and most of those, 72
percent, died from drowning. The Coast Guard reports that
about 89% of the drowning victims were not wearing personal
flotation devices (PFDs). This issue area has two
Safety Recommendation M-93-1 asks for mandatory use of
PFDs for children demonstration of operator knowledge of
safe boating rules and skills, and operator licensing. Since
the Board's recommendations were issued 31 States, the
District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico now have mandatory
education. Thirty-one States and the District of Columbia
have both PFD requirements and mandatory education.
Safety Recommendation M-98-101 calls for States to
require rental businesses to provide safety instruction and
training to all persons who operate rented personal
watercraft. Currently 31 States, the District of Columbia,
and three territories require safety instruction at PWC
Acting Chairman Rosenker said, "Clearly, the Board's
advocacy efforts have been extremely successful. There have
been 238 safety improvements in the States since these
recommendations were issued. Each one contributed to a
reduction in accidents, injuries and fatalities in their
respective States. I ask all the States to work with us to
make transportation safety a priority for all our citizens."
Improved Child Occupant Protection -- Paul Schlamm
Primary Seat Belt Laws - Terry Williams
Hard Core Drinking Driving -- Lauren Peduzzi
School Buses at Grade Crossings -- Lauren Peduzzi
Youth Highway Safety -- Keith Holloway
Recreational Boating Safety -- Keith Holloway
TedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2308 times:
Quoting SATL382G (Thread starter): An average of more than 120 young people die every
week in vehicle crashes in this country
If 100% of those deaths were cell phone related I say good riddence!! It was bad enough when people were JUST going slow in the left hand lane, but since cell phone popularity; things have gotten 100% worse.
Florida Just passed a law that BASICALLY says you can shoot anyone anywhere if you think your saftey is being compromised. I think it's time for me to go shopping for a gun. Any suggestions?
CaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2305 times:
Quoting TedTAce (Reply 1): Florida Just passed a law that BASICALLY says you can shoot anyone anywhere if you think your saftey is being compromised.
That isn't far from the way things are anywhere else. Florida just has one of the softest conceal and carry laws.
Enough hijacking the topic Ted, or we might have to bust out the red flags and crickets.
Personally, I say get the cell phones off the road. If you have to talk in the car pull over and stop endangering the rest of us with your inattention. I do as little as humanly possible (other than driving) when driving. More people need to get into this habit.. There also needs to be a law about the assholes who read and drive.. I honk at them just out of principle.
Usnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2301 times:
Geez......all I can say is about f*cking time. Every single day I get behind some swerving idiot, usually some middle-aged soccer mom who's driving the largest SUV on the market with the skills of a lab rat, yacking away on the phone missing turnoffs, stop lights, stop signs, yield signs, crossing cows, etc.
This has got to be a subject that I am definitely passionate about, as I dread every minute on the roads. Surprisingly, and very disturbingly, its getting more dangerous to drive during afternoon and evening commutes than it is after the bars let out. Unreal.
So, aside from my ranting.........I am very much in support of preventing those with even LESS experience and skills than the soccer moms from yacking away.
Also, and as soon as I can find the link I'll post it, there was a study recently that showed how ineffective the 'hands-free' units are from distracting drivers, as they are just as likely to become retarded as those driving with the phone to their ear. The bad part is that those using these hands-free things have this feeling as though they're still in control and focused, even though their mental alertness has been compared to that of a driver over the legal drinking limit.
747srule From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2290 times:
How can ANYBODY drive a 3-4000pound vehicle 60 mph or more and not give it 100 per cent total effort? Don't they realize they are in a potential coffin on wheels? Nothing gets me more annoyed than seeing that!!!
SATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2275 times:
Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 2): Personally, I say get the cell phones off the road. If you have to talk in the car pull over and stop endangering the rest of us with your inattention.
Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 2): I do as little as humanly possible (other than driving) when driving.
I used to be one of the the world's worst drivers, but I eventually saw the errors of my ways. Now I consider myself one of the best drivers in Texas. Then again, I'm not really sure that's actually saying very much.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1810 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2219 times:
Did anyone see that TV commercial for an insurance(?) company of a lady doing everything from talking on a cellphone to reading the newspaper while on the highway only to cut across two lanes because she was about to miss her exit?
That was pretty funny.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
Basas From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2209 times:
Of course cell phones can be a hazard...but sometimes i wonder if they're any worse than people talking to passengers, turning around to yell at the kids, looking at their 'in-car computer', eating and drinking, putting on make-up, READING!! I mean..we can only go so far.
Cornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2132 times:
Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 3): Geez......all I can say is about f*cking time. Every single day I get behind some swerving idiot, usually some middle-aged soccer mom who's driving the largest SUV on the market with the skills of a lab rat, yacking away on the phone missing turnoffs, stop lights, stop signs, yield signs, crossing cows, etc.
Interesting to see there is absolutely no difference between the US and UK then. Its exactly the same group which cause so much carnage and fear on the roads when i drive to work every day too.
But hey if they don't use the cell phone when driving, when else are they going to book that all important hair dressers appointment or manicure once they've dropped the kids off.....
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
Melpax From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 1774 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2128 times:
It's illegal to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving here in Oz, on the other hand texting while driving is much worse - there was a case here a while back where someone was convicted for hitting & killing someone while sending a text.
TedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2100 times:
Quoting MKEdude (Reply 19): The other day I was talking on the phone and I managed to make a left turn, shift, and take a bite out of an Egg McMuffin all at the same time. I couldn't help but feel a little proud of myself.