ITASCA, USA: The National Safety Council applauds the town council in Chapel Hill, NC, for passing a total cell phone ban for all motorists, becoming the first town in the nation to ban hands-free use. Once the law goes into effect June 1, motorists also will be banned from using on-board wireless systems in vehicles – another first-of-its-kind measure.
“In passing a total ban, Chapel Hill has taken a significant step toward making their roads safer,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO at NSC. “Research shows hand-free devices offer drivers no safety benefit. Passing total cell phone bans – that include handheld and hands-free use – makes our roads safer. We praise Chapel Hill for this action. It will save lives.”
More than 30 studies clearly show hands-free devices do not offer any safety benefit because they do not eliminate the distraction to the brain. The brain is incapable of processing two demanding thinking tasks – talking on a cell phone and driving – simultaneously.
Cell phone distracted driving has been a hotly debated topic in recent years and gained further attention over the last few months. On Dec. 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board became the first government organization to recommend all 50 states and D.C. completely ban the use of portable electronic devices for all motorists. NSC called for a total ban in January 2009.