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US Transportation Secretary won't endorse NTSB's proposal to ban cellphone use while driving

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NTSB seal (Verge stock)
NTSB seal (Verge stock)

Earlier this month the National Transportation Safety Board made a broad recommendation to ban all non-driving-related use of personal electronic devices while in the driver's seat, including hands-free use — but as the Wall Street Journal reports, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that he would not endorse the proposal. Speaking at a news conference, LaHood said that hands-free calling "is not the big problem in America," and that "if other people want to work on hands-free, so be it." While the NTSB is a federal agency, it does not have the authority to create or enforce auto safety rules. The decision is still up to state and local governments, some of which already have restrictive legislation, but no state has fully banned use of cellphones while behind the wheel. And without the endorsement of federal policymakers, there's no evidence that the NTSB's proposal will soon be made into law at any level of government.