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Push to get hands on the wheel, not on the cellphone

Thursday - 9/6/2012, 2:07pm  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Your hands should be on the wheel while driving, not on your phone.

There are new calls for a complete ban on the use of all handheld electronic devices while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association is the the latest group to call for the ban.

"It's common sense, hang up your phone and drive and focus on the task at hand," says GHSA Deputy Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. "Using a handheld cellphone while driving is dangerous, period."

The association points to studies in California, New York and Connecticut, where handheld cellphone bans followed by tough enforcement of those laws, has gotten people to put phones down.

Adkins says it's people that need to change.

"We have to have a cultural norm where when you mention to someone that you were texting and driving, it has the same level of horror as if to say you were driving drunk," he says.

The National Transportation Safety Board has also called for a nationwide ban on the use of all personal electronic devices behind the wheel.

Thirty-nine states and D.C. currently ban texting and driving for all drivers, while 10 states and D.C. ban handheld cellphone use.

Maryland has a secondary law in place when it comes to a handheld cellphone ban while driving. Virginia doesn't have any restriction in effect.

"There's work to be done in Maryland and Virginia," says Adkins.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)