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Proposed DOT Rule Would Ban Hand-Held Phone Use in Trucks

Posted by Genie Wood on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 @ 05:34 AM

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday proposed a new regulation that would specifically prohibit commercial truck drivers from using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel.

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule would prohibit interstate commerical truck and bus drivers from reaching for, holding, or dialing a phone while operating a commercial motor vehicle. "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," LaHood said. "This proposed rule would go a long way toward keeping a driver's full attention focused on the road."

Drivers who violate the proposed regulation would face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense, as well as a disqualification of their Commercial Drivers License for multiple offenses. States would also suspend a driver's CDL after two or more violations of any state law on cell phone use.

Motor carriers that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving would face a maximum penalty of $11,000.

Approximately four million interstate commercial drivers would be affected by the proposed regulation.

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