Group claims cell phone usage while driving is dangerous and government knows it - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/09

Group claims cell phone usage while driving is dangerous and government knows it

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After obtaining government documents through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, a consumer watchdog group says Americans have been kept in the dark about just how dangerous it is to use a cell phone while you are driving even when the cell phone is a hands-free device. 

"So whether you're doing that on hands free device or on a hand held cell phone, the distraction of the conversation causes the increased likelihood of a car crash", says Public Citizen attorney Margaret Kwoka.  The group, Public Citizen, says that since 2003 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to disclose research detailing the dangers of cell phone talking and texting while driving.  Meanwhile, some states have banned the use of cell phones while driving and a few have even banned drivers 18 and younger from using handheld or hands free electronic devices.

According to the website www.statehighwaysafety.org the only cell phone laws on Texas books deal with school bus drivers with passengers under the age of 17 and novice drivers, those who have had their license for six months or less.

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