FMCSA ISSUES FINAL RULE PROHIBITING HAND-HELD USE

On Wednesday, November 30, FMCSA and PHMSA will publish a joint final rule restricting CMV interstate drivers and intrastate hazmat drivers’ use of hand-held cellular phones. The final rule prohibits CMV drivers from holding, dialing, or reaching for a hand-held cellular phone but allows the use of hands-free devices. Drivers may push a single button to initiate, answer, or terminate a call. However, the rule prohibits all push-to-talk functions on cellular phones. Citizen Band Radios, GPS, and fleet management systems are not included in the prohibition.

FMCSA AND PHMSA ISSUE FINAL RULE PROHIBITING HAND-HELD USE OF CELLULAR PHONES By December 31st, 2011

On Wednesday, November 30, FMCSA and PHMSA will publish a joint final rule restricting CMV interstate drivers and intrastate hazmat drivers’ use of hand-held cellular phones. The final rule prohibits CMV drivers from holding, dialing, or reaching for a hand-held cellular phone but allows the use of hands-free devices. Drivers may push a single button to initiate, answer, or terminate a call. However, the rule prohibits all push-to-talk functions on cellular phones. Citizen Band Radios, GPS, and fleet management systems are not included in the prohibition.

The rule makes hand-held use of a cellular phone a disqualifying offense for drivers and also subjects drivers and motor carriers to federal civil penalties. FMCSA also stated its view to hold motor carriers accountable for violations committed by their drivers during the course of employment.

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