Today the National Transportation Board (NTSB) released a recommendation that all cell phones and portable devices–including hands-free devices–be banned during driving, except in cases of emergency.

The five member pannel came to a unanimous decision in the wake of a deadly highway accident in Missouri last year. According to the committee, the accident was caused by a truck driver who sent 11 text messages and 11 minutes. The driver and a 15-year-old student were killed and 38 others were injured during the accident.

The board’s recommendation, that states ban all hand-held devices, is stronger than most laws that are currently in place. Despite most states (35) having laws on the books prohibiting texting while driving, a recent survey found that two out of 10 drivers, and nearly half of drivers between ages 21 to 24, admit to texting, emailing, or surfing the web while driving.

Although the NTSB doesn’t have the power to mandate a law, the board does have significant influence over lawmakers and federal regulators that do.

Should ALL cell phones be banned while driving? 

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