New Phone Laws for CMV Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put out a new rule regarding the use of mobile phones while driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The FMCSA is now restricting drivers from holding a mobile device while operating their vehicle. CMV drivers are only allowed to use mobile devices in hands-free mode.
This is because when drivers take their eyes off the road, even if it is just for a second, the chances of being in a collision increase substantially. Data suggests that CMV drivers are six times more likely to be involved, or nearly involved, in an accident when they are holding/using a mobile device.
Phone Use Penalties
There are fines and penalties associated with using a mobile device while driving a CMV. If a driver of a CMV is found to be using a phone, they could be disqualified as a driver and face a fine of up to $2,750. Using a phone is defined as holding with at least one hand, dialing on the phone, or if the driver is reaching for the phone whilst driving.
Restriction Rule Compliance
There are a few ways CMV drivers can ensure they are remaining compliant with the FMCSA restriction rule on mobile phone usage. CMV drivers should ensure their cell phone is within reach, so if they have to access it they remain properly restrained by their seatbelt. Drivers are also advised to use speakerphone or a Bluetooth earpiece so they can talk hands free, or to use voice activated dialing so they do not have to physically use the phone.
Contact an Attorney
If you want to learn more about the new mobile phone restriction for CMV drivers, contact our law firm today. Our skilled attorneys could answer your questions and represent you if you were involved in a CMV accident.