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Feds Tell Commercial Drivers to Put Down the Cell Phones

December 6, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

Have you ever been a passenger on a bus and noticed the driver talking on a cell phone? Well, that is now a thing of the past, at least for interstate buses and commercial truck drivers. A new rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) bans cell phone use for bus and truck drivers. Currently, the rule applies to interstate drivers and not drivers staying in one state.

Any driver who decides to pick up the cell phone while driving their work vehicle faces a $2,750 fine. In addition, the bus companies and trucking companies face an $11,000 fine for allowing their drivers to use cell phone behind the wheel. There are about 4 million bus and truck drivers affected by the new federal rule.

The rule came just in time for the holiday travel season, said a spokesperson for the American Trucking Association (ATA). The ATA came out in favor of the rule and hopes states will follow the lead and enact their own similar cell phone bans. A representative from the PHMSA commented that hopefully, the rule would cut down on the number of needless injuries and deaths caused by distracted bus and truck drivers.

It is good to see that the appropriate administrative agencies following through on this and making this rule applicable to interstate drivers.

Will this make you feel safer as a bus passenger?

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida attorneys