NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB BOARD MEMBER HEALING TO TESTIFY BEFORE THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE ON SEATBELTS, CELL PHONES

February 9, 2004

National Transportation Safety Board Member Richard Healing will testify on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 before the Nebraska Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on three highway safety issues. Senator Dennis Byars sponsored legislative bills 894, which authorized primary enforcement of Nebraska's seatbelt law and 866, which will apply Nebraska's seat belt law to all vehicle occupants, not just the front seat occupants. Senator Nancy Thompson sponsored legislative bill 1111, which will restrict the number of passengers and the use of cell phones by young drivers.

Seatbelts are the single greatest defense against highway fatalities and offer life-saving benefits. Currently, only 20 states authorize primary enforcement of its seatbelt law, which makes it legal for law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for a seatbelt violation.

The Safety Board supports laws that provide for a three- stage graduated licensing system for young drivers. NTSB recommends that young, novice drivers be restricted to no more than one passenger under the age of 20 unless accompanied by a supervising adult driver who is at least 21, until they receive an unrestricted licenses or for at least 6 months.

The Board has also recommended that the nation's drivers education courses should include warnings about the dangers of distracted driving, and novice drivers should be prohibited from using cell phones while at the wheel.

A copy of Member Healing's testimony will be available on the Safety Board's website at www.ntsb.gov following his appearance before the Nebraska legislature.

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
202-314-6100
williat@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.