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NTSB recommends ban on driver cell phone use following Gray Summit pileup

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Firefighters work a school bus accident that killed two and injured 38 others in a chain reaction accident near Gray Summit, Mo. on Aug. 5, 2010. It has since been reported that the driver in the initial collision of the pileup was texting while driving.

Federal accident investigators recommended states ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in emergencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation followed a finding by the board that the initial collision in a deadly highway pileup near Gray Summit, Mo. last year was caused by the inattention of a 19 year-old-pickup driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident.

The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured.

The NTSB's recommendation makes an exception for use of phones and other devices in emergency situations.

The board doesn't have the power to impose regulations, but its recommendations carry significant weight with lawmakers.

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