The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board says the board does not often make recommendations that call for a cultural change.  But /Chairman Deborah Hersman says the recommendation on a nationwide ban of cell phone use by drivers is one of those times.  “It’s not just about changing the laws; it’s about changing the people’s hearts and minds,” she says in an interview on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program.

She says the first thing the public needs to acknowledge is that there is a problem or a challenge that must be dealt with.

The recommendation stems from a lengthy investigation by the NTSB of a two-fatality crash on I-44 in eastern Missouri last year in which two people were killed. Investigators say the driver who caused the crash had sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes before the incident. He was 19 and violating a state law that prohibits texting while driving for those 21 and younger.

The crash also killed a 15 year old girl who was a passenger on one of two school buses in the crash.  Hersman says she has heard arguments on both sides of the board’s proposal but the majority of the comments have been positive.

The chairmen of the Missouri House and Senate transportation committees are split on expanding the ban from younger Missouri drivers to all Missouri drivers.

C-SPAN has archived the interview at: