February 1, 2010
Check out the classifieds in this issue to find numerous job opportunities including a General Manager!
DOT Prohibits Texting by Bus and Truck Drivers
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced federal guidance Jan. 26 that prohibits texting by drivers of such commercial vehicles as buses and large trucks. This prohibition, effective immediately, is the latest in a series of actions taken by DOT to combat distracted driving since the secretary convened a national summit on the issue in September 2009.
“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” said LaHood. “This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”
Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.
Anne Ferro, administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said: “We want to make it crystal clear to operators and their employers that texting while driving is the type of unsafe activity that these regulations are intended to prohibit.”
FMCSA research found 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 is the equivalent of a driver traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road. In addition, drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to become involved in accidents than are non-distracted drivers.
The measure generally does not apply to transit bus operators who do not drive across state boundaries or to most operators of passenger cars. In response, while applauding LaHood’s actions, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), along with several other legislators, cited the need to extend the ban to mass transit and cars.
To follow DOT’s progress in working to combat distracted driving, click here.