State Highway Safety Officials: Hang Up and Drive
Statement for Attribution to Vernon F. Betkey, Jr., Chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
While the effectiveness of banning cell phone use is subject to debate, what is not debatable is that using ANY type of cell phone is distracting to drivers. Numerous studies have concluded that hands-free phone use does not mitigate crash risk. In a study released last year by
While GHSA does not support a legislative ban on all cell phone use for all drivers, the Association continues to support a “no-use” message when it comes to cell phones and driving. GHSA specifically recommends that:
States ban all non-emergency cell phone use/text messaging for new drivers as well as school bus drivers. Presently, only 17 state states and the
District of Columbiahave enacted these laws.
- States include a category for cell phone/electronic equipment distraction on crash investigation forms. Currently, 29 states collect this information.
- The federal government funds a media campaign to alert the public to the dangers of distracted driving. The federal government also should continue funding research about distracted driving and examine the effectiveness of laws and other countermeasures. The Association appreciates the federal leadership on this issue.
- The private sector takes a leadership role. As such, employers should prohibit text messaging and the use of cell phones and other electronic devices when driving except in emergency situations.
A detailed chart listing state-by-state cell phone laws is located online at http://ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.
GHSA’s policy position on distracted driving is located online at http://ghsa.org/html/issues/dist.driv.policy.html.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the
SOURCE Governors Highway Safety Association