After Ky. Crash, NTSB Recommends Cell Phone Ban For Truckers

by Rick Howlett on September 13, 2011

A deadly crash in Kentucky last year has prompted the the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that states ban texting and cell phone use by truckers and other commercial drivers when they’re behind the wheel.

The agency issued the recommendations after determining that a driver whose tractor-trailer crashed into a van, killing 11 people, was making a call on his cell phone.

“The driver habitually used his cell phone while driving, and was doing so at the time of the crash. The angle of departure from the roadway is consistent with that of a distracted driver. The driver was fatigued and that fatigue may have contributed to the distraction effects of his cellular use,” NTSB investigator Dennis Collins read from the agency’s investigative report today in Washington.

The truck driven by 45-year-old Kenneth Laymon of Jasper, Ala., crossed the median on I-65 in Hart County and crashed into a van carrying a Mennonite family and friends to a wedding in Iowa. Laymon and 10 people in the van were killed.

The recommendation to ban cell phone use and texting goes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and all 50 states for action.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press, and Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio)

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