BOISE -- Say goodbye to using cell phones when behind the wheel. That could be the case if the states across the country take the recommendation made Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The recommendation would ban any and all cell phone and portable device use while driving. What the NTSB is recommending significantly exceeds any existing state law surrounding texting and cell phone use when behind the wheel.
A deadly chain-reaction accident in Missouri in August of 2010 is what led the NTSB to make what some say is an extreme call. No texting, no calling, no browsing music, no looking up phone numbers while driving.
And yes. That does apply to Bluetooth, hand held and hands free. It is both a visual and a cognitive distractions and the manual distractions that we are concerned about, said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
The accident caused by a 19-year-old male pickup driver who sent and received several text messages in the minutes leading up to the crash, killed two and injured 38 others.
From 2008 to 2010, the Idaho Transportation Department says 179 people were killed on Idaho's roadways and nearly 1,200 more were seriously injured, each one a result of distracted driving.
State Rep. Joe Palmer, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, says a blanket approach doesn't work in rural Idaho.
I recommend more education. I think it's not safe for people to be driving and texting, but it's a bigger issue than that, said Palmer.
Idaho drivers have mixed opinions about the NTSB's recommendations.
For my sake I would support it, but I know there's other people out there that wouldn't support it, which is fine, they have their reason, said Dana Christiansen.
Natalie Celske lost a friend two years ago in an accident caused by a girl texting. She says something needs to be done, but the recommendations go too far.
Maybe if they did like Washington State and California, where you can use Bluetooth and maybe other alternatives so you could possibly drive, just hands free maybe, said Celske.
Tod Kessler agrees.
It seems to me that a hands free use is no less distracting than talking to the person sitting in the seat next to you, said Kessler.
It's time to put a stop to distraction. No call, no text, no update is worth a human life, said Hersman.
The NTSB has no authority when it comes to making laws. So it is up to the Idaho Legislature to decide what to do with the recommendations.
At this point, Palmer says he has not heard of any legislation on this subject for this session but he says that could change.
The NTSB has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers, as well as beginning drivers, but this is the first recommend ban for all drivers.