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DOT Proposes Cell Phone Ban for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Carrying Hazmats

    Client Alerts
  • May 13, 2011

As evidence of the safety consequences of distracted driving mounts, the federal Department of Transportation has begun to take steps to limit possible sources of distraction for drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles. In December, DOT issued proposed rules that would enact a general ban on use of cell phones by drivers of passenger or cargo CMVs. In February, the agency banned CMV drivers from texting while driving.

While the general cell phone use ban is under consideration, DOT decided last week to issue proposed rules that would prohibit most cell phone use by CMV drivers carrying hazardous materials. This is viewed as an interim, less controversial step than the total cell phone use ban. Drivers found in violation of the ban could be fined up to $2750, and face suspension of their Commercial Drivers Licenses. Carriers that fail to enforce the ban could see additional fines and impact on their DOT safety ratings.

DOT is accepting comments on the proposed rule through June 28. The proposed rulemaking can be found here.