US Government Proposes Cellphone Ban for Truck Drivers

On December 17, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Association proposed a new regulation prohibiting interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Under the proposed rule, a commercial driver found reaching for, dialing or holding a cell phone while driving will face a fine up to $2,750. Additionally, if a commercial driver is found to violate state law regarding hand held devices two times in a three year period they would be subject to a 60 day suspension of their Commercial Drivers License. If a commercial driver is found to violate state law regarding hand held devices three times in a three year period they would be subject to a 120 day suspension of their Commercial Drivers License. A motor carrier found to allow its drivers to utilize hand held devices would be subject to a fine up to $11,0000.

The Department of Transportation has noted that 5,000 people were killed and another 500,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2009. A study of distracted drivers indicates that an individual reaching for a phone while driving is three times more likely to be involved in an accident than an individual who is paying attention to the road. The study also found that individuals dialing their hand held phone while driver were six times more likely to be involved in an accident than an individual who is paying attention to the road.

There is a 60 day comment period on this proposed rule.

— Erik Anderson, Esq.

Reardon Anderson represents the interests of businesses, insurance companies and individuals throughout New Jersey and the metropolitan New York City area. Please visit our website at http://reardonanderson.com to learn more about our firm.

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