Commercial Drivers Facing Hand-Held Cellphone Ban
Reducing the number of distracted drivers on roadways has been a major point of emphasis for state and federal agencies. Many regulations have been handed down upon the operators of commercial vehicles to eliminate accidents. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a ban on texting while driving commercial vehicles. A recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule would take this ban one step further.
Under the proposed rule, drivers of commercial vehicles would not be allowed to use hand-held cellphones for any reason. They would not be allowed to text or talk, nor would they be able to use the phone for any other activities that would require them to take their eyes off of the road.
Because of the size of commercial vehicles, officials are concerned that any lapse in concentration could result in a catastrophic accident. FMSCA contends that it is not just using a hand-held phone that is the main issue. The phone will need to be located, and then the driver will have to reach for it or remove it from a pocket. According to the FMSCA, drivers who divert their attention from the road to reach for an object are three times more likely to end up in an accident.
Then, the driver will be looking at the phone to find the number to call, making sure the call goes through. After the call is connected, the driver will be speaking with the person on the other line. Each of these steps presents an opportunity to lose track of what is happening on the road.
Violations of this rule would carry strict penalties for both operators and trucking companies. Those caught using a hand-held cellphone would be facing a potential fine of $2,750. Repeat violations may result in the driver losing his or her commercial driver’s license. Trucking companies could be facing a maximum fine of $11,000 if their drivers are found to be using hand-held phones.
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to distracted driver, contact an experienced Boulder truck accident attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.