Distracted Driving: No Call, No Text, No Ticket

There’s a growing list of penalties when it comes to distracted driving. Drivers should take note. According to new research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the risks of being in a crash increases 23.2 times when commercial drivers engage in texting and/or distracted driving on the road. To combat risks, the FMCSA is getting tougher on when and how drivers utilize their mobile devices.

When you first read through the rules listed on the FMCSA website, it sounds much like what you would expect. Rules stipulate that drivers may not engage in texting and/or using a handheld mobile device while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Motor carriers are also prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to engage in texting while driving. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations have also been amended with texting or distracted driving citations now listed as a disqualifying offense.

All to often, the devil‘s in the details. That would be particularly true for mobile phone rules. It’s not just a matter of not texting. A driver could also be cited for simply holding their phone at a stop light. Since violations of any of the rules could result in fines, disqualification, being prohibited from driving and more…it’s important to know there’s a lot more than just not texting when it comes to the use of your phone.

According to FMCSA, drivers may not do any of the following:

Use at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
Dial a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or
Reach for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity. Rules governing mobile phone use apply to “drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle on a roadway, including moving forward or temporarily stationary because of traffic, traffic control devices, or other momentary delays.”

And for anyone unclear as to what constitutes texting… new regulations specify: “manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.”

According to FMCSA, it is very easy to comply with the new rules. Simply put: There’s no reaching for the phone. No holding of the phone. No dialing of the phone and certainly no reading or texting when the driver is in transit or stationary in traffic. While some drivers might be able to text without being caught, remember that call logs are always available via your phone carrier.

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About Millis Transfer
Millis Transfer, Getting It There Since 1936, has an impressive service record earning the company dozens of “Carrier of the Year” awards. Headquartered in Black River Falls, Wis., Millis is also a Certified Top Pay Carrier with some of the best equipment on the road. Maintenance facilities and drop yards are strategically located throughout the company’s operating area. Its sister company, Millis Training Institute, offers five school locations that provide students with quality training in order to earn their CDL-A license. For more information, please visit www.millistransfer.com, www.mtidriving.com or call 1-800-937-0880.

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