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  • § 390.3
    General applicability.
  • § 390.5
    Definitions.
  • § 390.9
    State and local laws, effect on.
  • § 390.15
    Assistance in investigations and special studies.
  • § 390.17
    Additional equipment and accessories.
  • § 390.21
    Marking of self-propelled CMVs and intermodal equipment.
  • § 390.23
    Relief from regulations.
  • § 390.31
    Copies of records or documents.

Part 390

Section § 390.17: Additional equipment and accessories.

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View regulations for Part 390

Question 1: Do the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prohibit "texting" while driving a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce?

Guidance: Yes. Although the current safety regulations do not include an explicit prohibition against texting while driving by truck and bus drivers, the general restriction against the use of additional equipment and accessories that decrease the safety of operation of commercial motor vehicles applies to the use of electronic devices for texting. Handheld or other wireless electronic devices that are brought into a CMV are considered "additional equipment and accessories" within the context of § 390.17. "Texting" is the review of, or preparation and transmission of, typed messages through any such device or the engagement in any form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication through any such device. Texting on electronic devices while driving decreases the safety of operation of the commercial vehicles on which the devices are used because the activity involves a combination of visual, cognitive and manual distraction from the driving task. Research has shown that during 6-second intervals immediately preceding safety-critical events (e.g., crashes, near crashes, lane departure), texting drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway an average of 4.6 seconds. Therefore, the use of electronic devices for texting by CMV operators while driving on public roads in interstate commerce decreases safety and is prohibited by 49 CFR 390.17.


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