28 Dec 2011 New Cell Phone Driving Ban Effective January 3rd, 2012
This just in, the United States Department of Transportation has banned the hand-held use of cell phones for anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle as of January 3rd, 2012. The law is very strict and clear in language. No longer will it be allowed to use even one hand in operating a cellular telephone while driving a commercial vehicle throughout the United States. Dialing and answering your phone won’t be tolerated unless it can be done in one button press. Reaching or fishing for a cell phone in a manner that causes swerving, lane shifting, or the driver to move from the upright seated position are now against the law in all states.
Hands-free mobile device mounts are legal; many of these gadgets take a single push of the button or a voice command to activate the phone. They call them “smart phones” for a reason, so be sure to take advantage of these great benefits in the interest of safety. Emergency calls will not be limited or restricted. Two-way radios and CB radios are not included within the law.
So, if you are a commercial truck driver, you might want to give up cell phone use while driving for your New Year’s resolution, because come Tuesday, January 3rd it’ll be against the law! Just for clarification, being stopped at a red light does not constitute a ‘safe’ place to read a message or make a call.
If you get caught, what would happen? If you get caught with your cell in hand twice in the same three years, your commercial driving privileges will be suspended for sixty days. I don’t think that’ll be the most pleasant news to tell your boss! After the first punishable offense the penalty is upgraded to $120 per instance. So looks like if you want to keep your commercial driving job it might be best to take advantage of the after-holiday sales and purchase a hands-free device or give up cell phone use during working hours.