Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices
Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposes to prohibit texting by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers while operating in interstate commerce and to impose sanctions, including civil penalties and disqualification from operating CMVs in interstate commerce, for drivers who fail to comply with this rule. Additionally, motor carriers would be prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to engage in texting while driving. FMCSA also proposes amendments to its commercial driver's license (CDL) regulations to add to the list of disqualifying offenses a conviction under State or local laws, regulations, 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 ratio of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near- crash, lane departure) is 23.2 times greater for drivers who engage in texting while driving than for those who do not. This rulemaking would increase 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.