FMCSA sets agenda to ‘restrict’ cell phones for truck drivers

| Friday, April 16, 2010

As a proposed rule to ban text messaging continues to advance for commercial drivers, the FMCSA has unveiled an additional proposed rule to “restrict” the use of cellular phones.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hopes to publish the rule this summer and begin collecting public comments in July.

The proposed rule is quite similar in language to the proposed rule on texting, according to a monthly FMCSA report on rulemakings.

“This rulemaking would restrict the use of cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle,” regulators stated in the 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.”

FMCSA hopes to send the proposed rule to Office of the Secretary of Transportation on or around April 29. FMCSA’s goal is to publish the rule in early July and seek public comments for 60 days lasting through early September.

Meanwhile, the FMCSA published its proposed texting rule on April 1. The public comment period for that specific rule ends May 3.

– By David Tanner, associate editor
david_tanner@landlinemag.com