The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving — even with a hands-free device.
The agency, which is responsible for investigating many transportation accidents, issued the recommendation on Tuesday — offering guidance that is stricter than any existing state law on cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle.
The five-member safety board unanimously agreed on the proposal, which comes more than a year after two people died in a highway pileup in Missouri involving two school buses and a pickup truck. The 19-year-old driver of the truck, who was killed, had sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes leading up to the crash, according to the Associated Press.
The NTSB does not have the power to impose restrictions on drivers, but its recommendations often guide federal regulators and lawmakers.
California currently bans texting and the handheld use of cell phones while driving. Cell phone conversations are permitted with hands-free equipment.