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December 21, 2010  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

Cell phone ban proposed for truck, bus drivers


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A federal rule would prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle. (Pictured is a sign in Southside Place, Texas, indicating that cell use is barred while driving during certain hours.)

A federal rule would prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle. (Pictured is a sign in Southside Place, Texas, indicating that cell use is barred while driving during certain hours.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government has proposed a new safety regulation that would prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

“Every time a commercial truck or bus driver takes his or her eyes off the road to use a cell phone, even for a few seconds, the driver places everyone around them at risk,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “This proposed rule will go a long way toward keeping a driver’s full attention focused on the road.”

The proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule would prohibit commercial drivers from reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone while operating a CMV. This restriction would be applied to school bus operations by private operators in interstate commerce, according to the proposal.

Violators would face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification of their commercial driver’s license (CDL) for multiple offenses.

In addition, the proposed rule provides for driver disqualification penalties for CDL drivers who are convicted, within a three-year period, of multiple violations of state traffic laws on the use of cell phones while driving. This would apply to all CMV drivers, including federal, state and local government employees (including school bus drivers) who are required to hold CDLs. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia ban school bus drivers from using a cell phone while driving.

FMCSA is providing 60 days for the public to comment on the rulemaking. The proposal and information about how to submit comments can be found here.

 


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Read more about: CDL, cell phones, distracted driving, FMCSA

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I have A CDL, And I think is A great Idea. nOW HOW ABOUT THE FOUR WHEELERS. on a cell phone in LALA land, pulling out in front of anybody / anything. it should be a law for everybody, not just CDL holders.

tony    |    Mar 04, 2012 01:46 PM

In NYS it's illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving regardless of what vehicle you are driving- school bus, truck, car, SUV- Cell phone use while driving is illegal. Tho from what I see on the road, its a law that is basically ignored.

Pam    |    Dec 22, 2010 08:53 PM

I see this all the time, Truckers on the sell phone, school bus drivers driving with kids on the bus,on a cell phone,in front of the police and nothing happens.I live here in schaumburg il,,ps Im a school bus driver my self.

Henry    |    Dec 22, 2010 05:32 PM

Its unfortunate that "common sense" seems to fly out the window when it comes to using a phone or other digital devices while operating a CMV. Safety for yourself, the public and the passengers in your care should be a priortiy. There are enough other distractions out there without adding one more. School bus drivers in our state can have their school bus certification suspended for a period of time if caught using the phone while operating the bus.

Andy    |    Dec 22, 2010 05:26 AM

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