The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Nationwide Cell Phone Ban While Driving Considered

We’ve written before about high blood alcohol content DUIs, aggravated DUIs, and other distracted driving related to drug and alcohol use. However, we’ve written very little about what the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) considers the “new DUI,” driving while distracted by cell phones and smart phones.

Now, in a sweeping proposal, the NTSB is urging all states to consider a nationwide cell phone ban while driving, including a ban on the use of hands free devices. The ban would outlaw both talking on cell phones and text messaging while driving, though it would still allow drivers to use devices integrated to their vehicles, reports CNN.

The taboo on drunk driving hasn't so much been a religious or moral stand. Instead, drunk driving and DUIs have been outlawed due to safety concerns.

So it never really made sense to have complex state laws and harsh penalties that regulated driving safety when it came to alcohol and driving, but no laws when it came to phone use and driving, which could be equally distracting and an equal safety hazard to drivers.

However, that may all change if regulators pick up the NTSB's call to action and adopt the nationwide cell phone ban. The ban would outlaw all non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road, reports CNN. So not only will school bus drivers be affected, or those using non-Bluetooth enabled devices, instead all drivers in every type of vehicle will be affected.

Distracted driving with cell phone and smart phone use has been described as the new DUI. As a result, we may see Pennsylvania adopt new, harsher laws banning hand held devices while driving.

Related Resources: