FMCSA fast-tracking texting ban for commercial drivers

| 3/5/2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has outlined its goals to implement a rule to ban text messaging and restrict the use of cell phones for commercial drivers.

The FMCSA hopes to submit a rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review on Monday, March 8, and hopes to receive OMB clearance by March 18. The FMCSA’s goal is to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on March 22. The agency is planning only a 30-day comment period, which would last through April 22.

“This rulemaking would ban text messaging and restrict the use of cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle,” the agency state in a monthly regulatory report.

“This rulemaking is in response to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-sponsored studies that analyzed safety incidents and distracted drivers. This rulemaking would also address the National Transportation Safety Board’s ‘Most Wanted List’ of safety recommendations.”

Earlier this year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued regulatory guidance directing the use existing rules to enforce a texting ban on commercial drivers.

– By David Tanner, associate editor