Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cell Phone Regulations

ACTION: Final Rule.  Effective January 3, 2012

SUMMARY:. FMCSA and PHMSA are amending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking will improve safety on the Nation's highways by reducing the prevalence of distracted driving related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of CMVs. The Agencies also amend their regulations to implement new driver disqualification sanctions for drivers of CMVs who fail to comply with this Federal restriction and new driver disqualification sanctions for commercial driver's license (CDL) holders who have multiple convictions for violating a State or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones. Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from   requiring or allowing drivers of CMVs to use hand-held mobile telephones
Hand held phones cannot be used by an operator of a commercial vehicle while it is moving!   This is true in any state, at any time after January 3, 2012.  Potential fines for the operator of a commercial vehicle or bus using a hand held phone while driving is $2,750.  This violation will also be classified as a “serious traffic violation” and subject to a 60 day disqualification of an operator’s CDL upon the second conviction of any serious      violation within 3 years..
Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000 as well.
All communication with moving commercial vehicles needs to be focused on safety first.  This means that if a truck is     moving any phone communication by the trucks operator must be on a hands free device.  If it is determined that the operator is driving and not on a hands free device any conversations must be stopped immediately.  The conversation can only resume after the truck has stopped at a safe location.
Every employee of Sammons Trucking shall be made aware of and needs to fully understand this policy.   Failure to abide by this policy will result in appropriate action up to and potentially including termination.  Safety must come first.

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