In late 2011, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the finalization of a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule banning interstate truck and bus drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Effective on January 3, the new regulation penalizes individual drivers with fines up to $2,750 and their companies with fines up to $11,000 per infraction. So what should interstate fleet operators do? The Steel Erectors Association of America suggests two ways to take action and start ensuring compliance with the new rule:
- Download new white paper explaining the rule’s genesis and what companies can do to ensure compliance
- Read this blog post for a quick, simple explanation of the rule and its implications.The new rule bans commercial drivers from reaching, holding or dialing a phone while on the road. Hands-free devices are allowed while push-to-talk phones are not. Some four million truckers are affected by the new rule. For regular passenger-car drivers, nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have banned the use of handheld phones while driving, and 35 states have banned texting while driving.