apparently so are conversations that involve push-to-talk hardware (various two way radio systems, CB, Ham, etc)
or so it would seem due to the fact that they have been explicitly exempted from the laws regulating cell phones.
I just don't see why phone conversations are so much worse than all of these other types of distraction. I think it all boils down to a nice sounding soundbite.
I also have a hard time with the fact that they are equating something that slows reaction time (distraction) with something that impairs judgment (drunk driving)
While you have accidents caused by both causes, they are really not equivalent.
If you can retain your judgment, you can reduce distractions when conditions get worse (heavier traffic, weather conditions, etc). If you don't have judgment you don't realize there is any need to change anything.