This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ON THE HORIZON


cab monitoring their drivers. They shouldn’t be held responsible for a single driver’s behavior.” But the agency was not swayed by that


argument. “As noted above, a motor carrier should put in place or have company policies or practices that make it clear that a carrier does not allow or require hand-held mobile phone use while driving. A motor carrier is responsible for the actions of its drivers,” the agency said in its explanation of the rule. The FMCSA does not have jurisdiction


over passenger car drivers, but McNally said the ATA would like to see states ban their use


of hand-held cell phones as well. Some states have gone farther than the


FMCSA. Nineteen (19) states and the District of Columbia have banned all use of mobile telephones by school bus drivers, while nine states and the District of Columbia prohibit all drivers, including those operating a passenger car, from using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving. The rule allows drivers to touch a single


button on a hands-free device or on their headset, steering wheel or instrument panel to initiate, answer or end a call. The hands- free device must be within reach of the driver


wearing a seatbelt. That means no stretching for a phone on the passenger seat, under the driver’s seat or in the sleeper berth. Using CB radios and electronic on-board recorders is not prohibited. Commercial motor vehicle operators can


use hand-held telephones to communicate with law enforcement personnel and emergency providers. FMCSA based the rule in part on research


that showed that the steps involved in using a hand-held cell phone add to crash risks, while using a hands-free device does not. According to a September 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for the FMCSA, a commercial driver dialing a cell phone is six times more likely to be involved in a crash or safety-critical event, while reaching for an object such as a cell phone makes such an event three times more likely. The key factor is that both activities involve taking one’s eyes off the roadway. The study found no increased risk


associated with merely talking on a cell phone and even found that using a hands-free cell phone was associated with a lower incidence of crashes, as was talking on a CB radio. The authors advised that “drivers not be prohibited from talking on a cell phone or CB radio as this was not found to increase risk.” The rule is being administered jointly with


the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is banning the use of hand-held mobile telephones by commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding. Under the new rule, a commercial motor


vehicle driver convicted of using a hand-held mobile telephone can be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,750 for each offense, including the first, while a second conviction within three years can result in a fine and disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle for 60 days. A third conviction within three years can result in disqualification for 120 days and a fine. Violating state and local laws pertaining to


driving using a hand-held mobile telephone results in a suspended commercial driver’s license under the same schedule. States may enforce lower fines for both


You’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. Call today!


drivers and their companies. The rule is part of the FMCSA’s campaign


to end distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in 2009 during crashes involving a distracted driver, including drivers of all vehicles, passenger and commercial.


8 ROADWISE | ISSUE 1, 2012 | www.mttrucking.org


T


H


E


B


E


S


T


O


F


B


O


T


H


O


W


R


L


D


S


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20