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No More Hand-Held’s for CMV Drivers

December 13th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News, Safety

Last week, the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (76 FR 75470-75488) prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV). The FMCSA portions of the rule apply to CMV operators in interstate commerce and the PHMSA portions apply to both interstate and intrastate transportation of placarded loads of hazardous materials. The use of hands-free phones is not covered under this rule.

A commercial motor vehicle can be defined as: a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; a vehicle designed to transport 11 or more passengers, including the driver, and used to transport students under the age of twenty-one years of age to and from school; or any vehicle transporting hazardous materials which is required to be placarded

Using a hand-held mobile phone is defined under 49 CFR 390.5 as: using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication; dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button; or reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with 49 CFR 393.93 and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. Click here to view the final rule in the Federal Register. Personally, I hope that this law will eventually include taxi drivers and law enforcement personnel!

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