Culture of Used Cell Phones and Driving Needs to Change

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Last updated April 12, 2019

Yet another example of the deadly link between fatal accidents and distracted driving caused by having used cell phones while in operation of a vehicle has been provided by a fatal crash between a barge and a tour boat which killed two people and endangered 35 others, throwing them into the water, which occurred when the mate who was piloting the tug boat was using a cell phone.
“Many people continue to think it’s just going to take a moment,” notes Deborah Hersman, the chairwoman of the National Transport and Safety Board, which met in Washington in the United States yesterday.  “How do we change that mindset?  Not just the NTSB, but all of us?”
Tug pilot Matt Devlin made and got no less than 21 calls on his old cell phone in the two and a half hours he was at the wheel of the tug that was involved in the disaster on the first of July last year.  He also changed his location on the vehicle in order to do so, blocking his view of the stalled tour boat into which the vehicle rammed, killing two Hungarian students.  Even worse, the deckhand on the tour boat itself was also texting on a cell phone at the time.
“Distraction is becoming the new DUI,” says NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.  “This is going to reach epidemic proportions.”