According to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, all cell phone use is officially banned for commercial truck drivers involved in interstate commerce. The FMCSA felt that with so many accidents involving commercial trucks on the road, cell phones are yet another unnecessary distraction for drivers. The FMCSA feels that their number one commitment is safety for all drivers and initiating this law is a way to help keep the roads safe.
Truckers and the companies they drive for may want to follow this law with the stiff failure to comply fines. For a first time offense, drivers will be fined $2,750 and their companies’ will be fined $11,000 per driver.
While I am a firm believer in road safety and the laws that preserve that safety, this new law does however bring up some questions:
1.) Does the law apply to hand held phone use or head sets as well? If all phone use is banned will private car cell phone use be banned also?
2.) What about CB radios, which are used to increase communication and safety between commercial trucks, will they be banned too?
3.) How will truckers be able to communicate with home base? Will they have to pull over every time they need to communicate with their company, crowding the roads and increasing shipping time (and costs)?
4.) Does the law apply to intrastate truckers, and if not, how is this law just, applying to some commercial drivers but not all?
5.) Will companies ignore the law and simply build the fines into the cost of shipping, which will in turn be passed onto consumers?
Only time will tell with these questions, but it will be interesting to see in the upcoming months what effect the law will have on interstate shipping and highway safety.