Posted on March 25, 2016
Commercial truck drivers cannot text and drive while behind the wheel. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took things one step further than that and said that drivers simply can’t use hand-held phones at all.
That means never dialing on a cellphone. It means not even using push-to-talk devices. It means never reaching for a phone—on the floor or in a cup holder, for example—and never holding one. Cellsphones have proven to be too much of a distraction and drivers are instructed not to use them.
There are still ways to make calls. For one thing, drivers are free to pull over in a safe manner and then make a call. The driver must be in a place where the truck is legally allowed to sit, in a stationary manner, until the call is over. Much of the time, this may mean making calls at truck stops.
Additionally, some hands-free devices can still be used. The FMCSA simply wants drivers to have both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road at all times. A hands-free device may make this possible, increasing safety in situations where calls must be made on the go.
If drivers are caught breaking the rule, they could face fines of $2,750. If a company lets drivers break the rule, it could be fined $11,000. When multiple offenses happen, drivers could lose their commercial licenses.
Those who have been hit by truck drivers who were on their phones at the time of the accident need to know that thisFMCSA regulation exists and what it could mean for them in court.
Source: Driving Ambition, “Final Rule Bans Cell Phone Use for CDL Truck Drivers,” Jeremy Reymer, accessed March 25, 2016