Posts Tagged ‘texting’

Texting Banned For Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

In January 2010 the U.S Transportation Secretary announced federal guidance to expressly prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses.   Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

FMCSA research shows that drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting.  At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road.  Drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers. Because of the safety risks associated with the use of electronic devices while driving, FMCSA is also working on additional regulatory measures that will be announced in the coming months.

President Obama also signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment. Federal employees were required to comply with the ban starting on December 30, 2009.

The regulatory guidance on today’s announcement will be on public display in the Federal Register January 26 and will appear in print in the Federal Register on January 27, 2010.

New law concerning texting while driving

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


Text-messaging, emailing or accessing the Web on a wireless device while driving — including while stopped in traffic — is illegal on Minnesota roads effective August 1. The violation can cost up to $300 and applies to drivers of all ages. As a primary offense, law enforcement can stop a motorist if they observe a violation of the new law.

Specifically, the law states that no person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. The law does not apply to devices that are permanently affixed to the vehicle or global positioning systems or navigation systems.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), crashes in which distraction or inattention was a factor — including text-messaging or cell phone use — are vastly underreported. The state reports distraction was a factor in at least 15 percent of all fatal crashes during 2005–2007, resulting in 240 traffic deaths. Another 1,163 motorists suffered serious, life-altering injuries as a result of distracted driving crashes during this period. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distraction is a factor in about 25 percent of all crashes.

Cell phone use for teen drivers with a provisional license is completely prohibited by a law in effect since 2006. In an informal DPS Minnesota teen driving survey, teen respondents said texting was their biggest distraction while driving. Texting was also cited as the “most unsafe” behavior their friends engaged in while driving.