Congress helped create what would eventually be the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 1926 with passage of the Air Commerce Act. Initially, the NTSB investigated the cause of aircraft accidents. In time, Congress combined various transportation agencies which were created by the Act into the Department of Transportation (DOT). In turn, the DOT established the NTSB as an independent agency within the DOT that would promote safety within the broad framework of national transportation. Today, NTSB is viewed as an independent United States Federal Government Agency.
As part of its duties, the NTSB issues safety recommendations related to transportation safety in the United States, including the roadways of America. On December 13, 2011, the NTSB issued a historic news release following a board meeting on that same day in which it proposed a complete nationwide ban on drivers using portable electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle. However, the ban is not a law.