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Truckers can use hands-free devices safely

We're writing in response to your recent editorial criticizing the Maryland Motor Truck Association's position on highway safety and the use of mobile technology ("The NTSB's call for safety," Oct. 24). MMTA and the American Trucking Associations both come to our policy positions based on the best science and data available, and in this case we agree that the use of hand-held phones is a terrible idea with potentially catastrophic results.

However, we don't go as far as The Sun or the National Transportation Safety Board in calling for an outright ban on hands-free devices. Why? In part because there's no strong data or science to support such a ban.

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In 2010, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, a recognized authority in this area, found that using a hands-free device actually makes drivers less likely to be involved in a crash.

Trucking is a safety-first industry, and our respective organizations will continue to advocate for public policies that make our highways safer for all motorists, not just truckers.

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But until data exists that clearly demonstrates that use of a hands-free device increases the risk of a crash we will continue to support only a hand-held phone ban for all motorists.

Louis Campion, Baltimore

and Bill Graves, Arlington, Va.

The writers are presidents of the Maryalnd Moter Truck Association and the American Trucking Associations.

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