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February 21, 2012  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Forum to focus on attentive driving


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a one-day forum on the timely topic of reducing driver distractions.

“Attentive Driving: Countermeasures for Distraction” will be held on March 27 in Washington, D.C.

"In generations past, the norm was an attentive driver with occasional distractions, but today, distractions are competing full-time for the driver's attention," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. "Our forum will identify how distractions affect behavior behind the wheel and focus on measures that promote attentive driving."

The event will look at the broad range of distractions that compete for drivers’ attention, characterize the various distracted-driver laws and discuss the differences in how states have adopted restrictions. The forum will also explore national and state education campaigns and consider the effectiveness of active safety technology currently being deployed in vehicles.

Officials said that the forum offers an opportunity for researchers and industry to discuss the Visual-Manual Driver Distraction Guidelines recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Panelists in the forum will represent federal and state government and law enforcement, as well as researchers and industry groups. A detailed agenda and list of participants will be released closer to the date of the event.

The forum will be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L'Enfant Plaza S.W. in D.C. The public will be able to view the forum in person or by webcast at

The NTSB recently called for the first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices — including hands-free devices — while operating a motor vehicle.


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Read more about: distracted driving, NTSB

This is a no brainer for many bus drivers. Perhaps the phrase "attentive driver" should be changed to "responsible driver"; meaning that it is the SOLE responsibility of the bus driver to SAFELY transport students to/from home and school or activities. Therefore, in order to fulfill this responsibility, it is absolutely necessary that the driver's focus is SOLELY on the road and on the driving - and NOT having to simultaneously "manage the students"; whereas the responsibility of "managing the students" would and should be given to a ride-along "student behavioral specialist" or something to that effect. C'mon, isn't this obvious already?

BUSNUTT    |    Feb 22, 2012 07:12 PM

Sad thing about all this process - people will try to work around the laws and use devices anyway. Really, really - what lessons were learned from the Fox-River Grove school bus/train accident simply about the interior noise levels from a two-way radio system and the AM/FM stereo system speakers being so close to the driver - they could not possibly have heard the train coming that struck the rear section of the school bus that was left sticking out into the path of the train while waiting on a traffic light to change? In our "real world" of 27 years of driving school buses we've seen all types of people driving vehicles. I honestly feel there should be at least a requirement of graduating high school before you can drive vehicles anymore. Don't forget now we have "impaired" drivers who could be impaired with anything anymore. Judges need to have had enough with the "revolving door" in their courtrooms of repeat impaired drivers and start putting them in jail for longer periods of time. Innocent people should not have to be forced to share the roadways with repeat impaired driver offenders. Legal descriptions of what substances the so-called impaired drivers are on when they strike and kill students may even play a part in the "impaired" driver's attorney or team of attorneys finding a loop-hole to get them off from prosecution in a case where a child or several children are killed or seriously injured. I just hope the new federal law is crystal clear and simple. There should not be any distractions period. If a device did not come manufactured into a vehicle that has passed Federal safety standards to place vehicles on the market - people need to stop ad-on or carry-in devices - especially in school buses.

Dan Luttrell    |    Feb 22, 2012 07:07 AM

Do we really need a forum to focus on attentive driving? Govmt, again at its best when pointing out the incredible obvious and offering a focus group. Really? Is is that hard to figure out cell phones social media and various apps that goes with them and driving are as bad or worse than drinking and driving? I am taken aback by this nonstarter.

Will Rosa    |    Feb 21, 2012 04:35 PM

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