Friday, January 27, 2012

New ban on Cell Phones for Commercial Drivers

In November U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new rule "specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles".  I have not seen any press or announcements about this new rule but it affects many companies including a-fabco.  

The rule goes on to state: "The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule."

While I agree with the ban it will definitely affect our deliveries.  It will require us to always have two people on deliveries at all times.  Most of our customers request a 30 or 60 minutes heads up before delivering to their jobsite and if we only schedule the driver with no helper that will mean he has to pull over every time he makes that phone call.

I am curious if anyone else heard about this change?  If so are you making any changes to your current delivery policy?


  1. The problem I have with this is that Truck Drivers are usually the safest drivers out there on the road, there really shouldn't be laws categorizing them as careless drivers.

    When I think of no cell phones while driving laws, I picture teen drivers, not professional truckers trying to get their job done.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Grant! I agree that truck drivers are safer drivers than most teens however in the last few years I personally have seen an increase in truck accidents. Just last week I saw one that was truck on truck. Was it caused by one of the drivers being on a cell? I have do idea. The damage is so much more when the accident involves a big vehicle.

    1. If they could make certain technologies mandatory, it would be a better situation. Things like Ford Sync would be a great solution ( ).

  3. Does it apply if the driver is using a 'hands-free' device like a headset or through the cab speakers? You might want to get clarification on that one - could save you some time and money!

  4. Hey Brinn - the driver can use a hands-free device and we will be discussing that. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  5. I think that cell phones should be banned for all drivers. They are very dangerous while driving. Nowadays, a lot of car accidents are caused by drivers who use cell phones. All drivers should be more careful in order to avoid these crashes.