Hickenlooper Sounds Off On NTSB Cellphone Ban Recommendation

DENVER (CBS4) – A horrific crash that killed two people may be the catalyst for tighter laws banning cellphone use while driving.

In Colorado it is illegal for any driver to text behind the wheel. Now the National Transportation Safety Board wants to make the law even tougher. It’s recommending states ban the use of cellphones by all drivers.

Gov. John Hickenlooper told CBS4 he wouldn’t be surprised if Colorado lawmakers take up a bill that would make talking on the phone while driving illegal.

Federal regulators said on Tuesday that texting, emailing or using any cellphone — even hands free — is simply too dangerous behind the wheel.

“It’s about changing attitudes and changing level of acceptance,” an NTSB official said.

The NTSB says no call is worth a life.

There are 35 states that ban texting while driving, including Colorado. Hickenlooper says he’d like to see the NTSB report before making any recommendation on cellphones and driving.

“Making this kind of recommendation, there’s going to be a body of data there that compelled them to make this recommendation. I suspect there will be a number of legislators,” Hickenlooper said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about accidents — several — and I’ve heard about two or three times, that means there’s been hundreds of people who were just texting at that moment and then had an accident.”

The NTSB’s recommendation stems from a horrific crash in Missouri. A 19-year-old driver caused the deadly accident after sending 11 text messages in 11 minutes just before hitting another vehicle and causing a chain reaction. Two school buses were involved. Two people died and 38 were injured.

The NTSB’s recommendation makes an exception for use of phones in emergency situations. While it can’t force laws, NTSB recommendations carry significant weight.

  • migrant3

    This is a safety regulation that needs to happen. It is WAY overdue and should have been made law when it was first debated. There are too many distracted ‘weavers’ on the road who pay more attention to their cell phones than their safe driving.

  • denvervet

    Hasn’t Hick driven and had to deal with some fool on a cell phone? Or is he driven everywhere? Ok, 35 state have laws against it, what more do you need. Don’t waste time studying this, look for industry to come to the state and create jobs.

  • FedUP

    Really Hick – REALLY?? The fact that almost everyone I see on the road these days has a phone stuck in their ear, they pay no attention to how they are driving. I’t’s a struggle dodging the idiots on phones on the hwy daily getting to and from work. I’ve seen 3 people almost get run over crossing downtown streets because of cell phone users not paying attention at the crosswalks. When is enough ENOUGH? Whatever happened to common sense?

  • Alicia

    Just an excuse because he doesn’t want to do anything. I was hit on S. Santa Fe while stopped at a light because of a driver on a cell phone. Really creepy when you know for sure you’re gonna get hit.

  • K

    And the scary thing is ….. Obama is looking at Hickenpooper to be his vice presidential running mate in 2012. OMG!!!

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