Associated Press: A national safety group is advocating a total ban on cell phone use while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities.
States should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job, the congressionally chartered National Safety Council says, taking those positions for the first time.
The group's president and chief executive, Janet Froetscher, likened talking on cell phones to drunken driving, saying cell phone use increases the risk of a crash fourfold.
"When our friends have been drinking, we take the car keys away. It's time to take the cell phone away," Froetscher said in interview.
No state currently bans all cell phone use while driving. Six states -- California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington -- and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cell phones behind the wheel, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Also, 17 states and the district restrict or ban cell phone use by novice drivers.
Council officials acknowledged a total ban could take years.
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