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12/08/06   |   By

NTSB Urges Cell Phone Ban for Bus Drivers | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

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As reported recently by the Washington Post, “The National Transportation Safety Board urged the federal and state governments to forbid motor coach and school bus drivers from using cell phones while driving, except in emergencies.

The recommendation came in an NTSB report on a non-fatal bus accident on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria in November 2004. The tour bus of Catholic school students from Massachusetts slammed into a low, stone overpass along the parkway, crushing the roof and injuring 11 teenagers on a class trip, according to police and the NTSB.

The bus driver was talking on a hands-free cell phone at the time of the accident, and he told investigators he did not see the signs on the parkway that alert motorists to the height of the overpass, the NTSB said.”

The press release by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB  reports that  “the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the 50 States and District of Columbia prohibit CDL holders with a passenger-carrying or school bus endorsement from using cell phones while driving those vehicles, except in emergencies. The Board also recommended that the bus associations develop formal policies for their members containing the same proscriptions.

The Board noted that the extent of the problem of cell phone use is unknown because of inadequate statistics, and the Board reiterated previous recommendations to the 20 states that do not have driver distraction codes on their accident investigation forms to add interactive wireless communication device use to those forms.”

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