The American Motorcyclists Association (AMA) recently released a response to the call of the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. The proposed ban, which would include hands-free devices, has drawn both positive and negative attention from groups across the nation.
AMA spokesperson Peter Terhorst issued this statement:
“Motor vehicle operators engaged in distracted or inattentive driving behaviors in all its forms are not just a danger to motorcyclists; they endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, roadside assistance and emergency medical personnel, highway construction workers, and law enforcement personnel. All road users are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles on public roads and highways. The American Motorcyclist Association acknowledges that motorcyclists – in addition to car drivers, truck drivers, and even bicyclists – share this responsibility.”
Though the AMA acknowledged the dangers of distracted driving, the organization did not endorse the full-ban solution proposed by the NTSB.
“The AMA sincerely appreciates the concern expressed by the NTSB regarding the potential traffic safety danger posed by operator use of mobile communications devices. However, we do not agree with the NTSB that the solution necessarily involves federal prohibitions or mandates. Because motorcyclists benefit from hands-free technologies such as helmet-to-helmet communications, which can improve safety, we believe that more study is needed to qualify the nature of the threats posed by the use of various mobile communications devices. The problem is complex and appropriate strategies, including education and stricter penalties, must be thoughtfully considered.”
The AMA is raising questions similar to those raised by many other organizations. Is a full ban necessary, or do some hands-free devices actually help riders avoid motorcycle accidents?
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