LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
NTSB Wants Ban on Cell Phone Use in Cars for Minors
Aired June 3, 2003 - 20:28 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A little camera problem there. We start today's timeline in the nation's capitol. In the 10:00 hour and it should have been enough to make certain drivers put down their soda cans, hang on their cell phones, stop talking on the fiddling with the CD player and pay attention. The National Transportation Safety Board, recommended that states make it illegal for inexperienced drivers to use cell phones. The NTSB says if you have only a learner's permit, hang up and drive. As for the rest of us, the current research gives conflicting information on which distractions are the worst.
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JOE OSTERMAN, NTSB OFFICE OF HIGHWAY SAFETY: They do not agree. And that's one of the problems we face in trying to identify this issue. So, the bottom line is, although cell phones are a distraction, relative to other distractions, we cannot rank that or the other distractions as which is the most severe.
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COOPER: Well, the NTSB wants to do a big study on driving distractions.
In an attempt to save the government a lot of time, some money, Bruce Burkhardt, decided to do this job himself. Take a look.
BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There have been studies and studies of studies. The results are in -- conclusive.? We still don't know for sure how much cell phone use contributes to traffic accidents. But do we really need a study to tell us that multitasking isn't such a great idea while driving.
(on camera): Anybody who's ever juggled a leaky hamburger while also trying to navigate traffic, can admit or they should be able to admit there is a heightened risk there. Eating a burger while also talk talking to a camera doesn't help matters any. Hello.
(voice-over): But cell phones have been getting all the bad PR, thanks in part to high-profile accidents like the one involving Niki Taylor, where a cell phone was the culprit.
(on camera): What about other distractions, eating, drinking, fooling with the radio, putting on makeup,dealing with the kids -- hush! These are all things people do on a regular basis in their cars.
(voice-over): So what's the most dangerous? Let's go to the study so that we can get really confused. One report from the California highway patrol says cell phones are the No. 1 distraction, but results from a University of North Carolina study are very different. Distractions outside the car, No. 1, Cell phone use was down at No. 8, between eating and smoking.
(on camera): So in the absence of a consensus about the primary cause of distracted driving accidents, what are we left with?
(voice-over): What we are usually left with, common sense. If we need to be told to put down the newspaper while we're driving, we are in trouble.
Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.
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ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A little camera problem there. We start today's timeline in the nation's capitol. In the 10:00 hour and it should have been enough to make certain drivers put down their soda cans, hang on their cell phones, stop talking on the fiddling with the CD player and pay attention. The National Transportation Safety Board, recommended that states make it illegal for inexperienced drivers to use cell phones.>