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The Wall Street Journal reports that Ray LaHood, the US Secretary of Transportation, announced yesterday that the Obama administration will not “back a proposal to prohibit drivers from talking on cellphones, even hands-free devices, giving a boost to car makers and mobile-phone companies that stand to lose if regulators impose a ban.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week called on all 50 states to pass such a ban, saying that cellphone usage while driving - whether for talking or texting - was creating a culture in which distracted driving was causing auto accidents in the same way - though not to the same extent - that driving while impaired does.

However, hands-free calling "is not the big problem in America," LaHood said at a Wednesday press conference.

The Journal notes that while the NTSB can make recommendations, the Department of Transportation has rule-making authority in the area of auto safety. Therefore, LaHood’s declaration is seen as a kind of final word on the issue.

According to the story, “nine states and Washington, D.C., ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving and 35 states, including D.C., prohibit texting while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. But no state has an all-out ban on cellphones.”
KC's View:
Thus, concerns about unwanted government intrusion are answered, at least on this score.

I do believe, however, that every state should ban texting while driving, and using hand-held cellphones while driving. That strikes me as simple common sense.