Federal Ban on Texting for Commercial Truck Drivers Takes Effect

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, announced a federal ban on texting for commercial truck drivers while driving. This new law, which took effect immediately, expressly prohibits texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses. Report shows that drivers who text are more than 20 times likely to get into an accident than non-distracted drivers.

Drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles will be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

On December 30, 2009, President Obama also signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or operating government-owned equipment.

“We want to make it crystal clear to operators and their employers that texting while driving is the type of unsafe activity that these regulations are intended to prohibit”, said Anne Ferro, Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.) FMCSA is also working on additional regulatory measures that will be announced in the coming months.

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