Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) criticized the National Transportation Safety Board Wednesday for recommending a ban on texting, emailing and talking on cellphones while driving except in case of emergency.
"I was thinking about that because it was in the news today. So I went to the Constitution and I looked at Article 1, Section 8. There is nothing in there about telephones," he said to laughter and applause at a diner in Amherst, N.H., according to CNN Political Ticker. "Then I thought, 'Well there is nothing in there about what you can do and can't do when you are driving in a horse and buggy either.'"
He added, "The federal government shouldn't be involved." Paul acknowledged that using cellphones while driving was dangerous but that eating and rowdy children also cause drivers to become distracted. He said the federal government doesn't have the power to enforce a ban on cellphones.
The National Transportation Safety Board urged all states to impose total bans on cellphones -- including hands-free devices -- while driving in a unanimous ruling Tuesday. GPS navigation systems would be excluded. The board does not have the power to impose restrictions but they carry significant weight among lawmakers.
35 States and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, while nine states and D.C. bar hand-held cellphone use.