The time to totally ban cellular telephone use would have been years ago. The National Transportation Safety Board this week urged states to impose total bans on talking, texting and emailing while driving.
It follows recommendations by insurance groups and rules banning the practice by major employers and the government itself. Most states, not including Oklahoma, have some sort of regulation on wireless communications.
But a total ban is unrealistic and nearly unenforceable. Police already have “distracted driving” laws on the books. They are rarely enforced until an accident happens and someone is ticketed.
Wireless devices are a vital link in transportation and commerce today. Companies keep track of workers and families monitor children’s whereabouts.
Some analysts have said the NTSB’s recommendation has more to do with pushing insurance companies and major employers to embrace a ban rather than an expectation that states will act.
We are seeing more communities enact “wireless free” zones around schools and congested shopping areas. Enforcing those is a good first step to changing drivers’ behaviors.