The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA, a division of DOT) has amended its regulations to restrict the use of cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking is intended to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries. The federal rule became effective January 3, 2012.
Any violation of this restriction may result in a civil penalty imposed on drivers in an amount up to $2,750. A civil penalty of up to $11,000 may be imposed on employers that fail to require their drivers to comply. The Agency has also amended it regulations to implement new driver disqualification sanctions for CMV drivers and CDL-holders. Individual States' DOTs are required to adopt rules that are at least as effective or stringent as the federal rule within three years. TCIA is aware that many states have already done so.
If you have any questions regarding this new rule, please contact TCIA at 1-800-733-2622.
Note: The CMV referenced in this regulation is any company vehicle that weighs 10,001 lbs or more. If the vehicle is pulling a trailer such as a chipper or stump grinder, then the combined weight of truck and trailer is what is counted.
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