Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits texting by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers while operating in interstate commerce and imposes sanctions, including civil penalties and disqualification from operating CMVs in interstate commerce, for drivers who fail to comply with this rule. Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to engage in texting while driving. FMCSA amends its commercial driver's license (CDL) regulations to add to the list of disqualifying offenses a conviction under State or local traffic laws or ordinances that prohibit texting by CDL drivers while operating a CMV, including school bus drivers. Recent research commissioned by FMCSA shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) is 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who engage in texting while driving than for those who do not. This rulemaking increases safety on the Nation's highways by reducing the prevalence of or preventing certain truck- and bus-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries associated with distracted driving.