If the federal government has its way, cellphone use of any kind while driving — hands-free or not— could be outlawed across the 50 states.

In a strong recommendation issued today, the National Transportation Safety Board proposed the nationwide ban, arguing that cellphone use in recent years has contributed to too many vehicular fatalities.

“No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life,” Board chairman Deborah Hersman said in a statement. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.”

The NTSB, which investigates transportation accidents, points out that last year over 3,000 deaths on the road were distraction related. In its recommendation, the board calls for a blanket ban on all non-emergency use of phones and other mobile devices by drivers, including texting, making a call or using a hands-free device such as a headset. It doesn't apply to passengers in the vehicle, however.

Many states have already implemented laws against texting while driving, but most have stopped short of banning cellphone use all together. It will be up to the office of the executive and/or federal lawmakers to determine how to respond to the NTSB's proposal.

What do you think? Should all non-emergency cellphone use be outlawed?

[via AllThingsD]