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Commercial Drivers Prohibited from Texting While Driving

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In further attempts to combat the dangers of distracted driving, The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has prohibited commercial drivers from texting while driving.

Commercial drivers include drivers of interstate buses and trucks over 10,000 pounds. Drivers who violate the ban may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

The USDOT press release cited the dangers of texting while driving as the motivation for the ban:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (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.