Last updated: September 27, 2010 - 8:48am
Doubting that a proposed total ban on cellphone use behind the wheel could be enforced, the nation's highway safety officials Sept 26 declined to endorse a prohibition.
The Governors Highway Safety Association set aside a California proposal that the group press for state legislatures to consider a complete ban. "We don't want this to become like the speeding issue, which we've already lost. Everybody speeds," Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the GHSA, said from the group's annual meeting in Kansas City (MO). "They haven't shown that the laws we already have," such as requiring the use of hands-free devices or banning texting while driving, "are very effective." The vote is a telling moment in the debate over use of distracting electronic devices while driving. Alhough safety advocates, including the National Safety Council, have called for a total ban on drivers using cellphones, the GHSA is a better bellwether of the political and public will to embrace stiffer restrictions.