A survey released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed 8 percent of drivers, or 1.2 million people, were using hand-held or hands-free cell phones during daylight hours last year, a 50 percent increase since 2002 and a 100 percent rise in four years, according to an Associated Press report in conjunction with CBS News.
New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia prohibit talking on hand-held cell phones while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Some communities, such as Brookline, Mass., Santa Fe, N.M., and Lebanon, Pa., require hands-free cell phones, but about a half-dozen states prohibit local governments from restricting cell phone use in motor vehicles, the AP report said.
Driving while cell-phone chatting is growing at the rate among 16- to 24-year-olds, reports CBS News Correspondent John Hartge, increasing by 60 percent between 2002 and 2004. The driver was more likely to be on the phone if alone in the car, and if female.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it wants all 50 states to ban those with learner's permits from using cell phones or other wireless devices while driving. New Jersey and Maine are the only two that have passed such laws.