Truckers And Bus Drivers Now Banned From Texting While Driving

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 27 2010 10:34 AM
Texting and driving is already illegal for citizens in a number of US states, but now commercial truckers and bus drivers are also going to be included on the "do not text and drive" list. The Department of Transportation enacted a new rule this week that bars those classes of drivers from texting while operating their vehicle, which will probably lead to all sorts of other legislation in the coming months and years.

This is actually a pretty major decision, but it sort of feels like an obvious one. Should truckers and drivers of buses that hold dozens of children be doing anything at the wheel other than driving? Not in our mind. We're kind of surprised it took this long to get a rule passed that keeps those drivers from texting and driving, but many are saying that it has become a normal and almost essential part of their routine. There are alternative solutions that allow handsfree talking and voice-to-text, but those definitely aren't as elegant as just typing on one's phone.

Under the new regulations, drivers who are caught texting while cruising could face criminal and civil fines of up to $2,750, and officials are saying that the move was made in order to keep the focus of these drivers on the road. We figure it's only a matter of time before similar rules come to every road and every driver, and for safety's sake, we can't really complain.


"Our regulations will help prevent unsafe activity within the cab," said Anne Ferro, administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

"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," said Ferro.

FMCSA said its studies show that drivers who text have their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds out of every six seconds while they are engaged in the activity. That means that, at 55 MPH, their vehicle is traveling the length of a football field while their attention is elsewhere.

FMCSA also said that drivers who text are 20 times more likely to get into an accident than those who do not use mobile devices while driving.

"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," the administration said.


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Well, I'm glad that this finally happened.  I'm not sure how frequently bus drivers and truckers text, but regardless it's a great move by the DOT.

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gibbersome replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 12:39 AM

...why wasn't this a law already?  Distracted truck and bus drivers can cause the most amount of damage in an accident considering their vehicles are much heavier than passenger cars and their brakes are slow.

 

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 2:33 AM

Thats a good question gibbersome texting while driving a semi a bus a train any kind of heavy equipment especially seem like a very bad idea. I mean driving and texting in any case, but something that weighs several tons, and especially with a separate trailer, but anything that heavy seems ludicrous.

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Bighorse replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 8:16 AM

Why only texting, if you need to talk on the phone either use something like snyc, a bluetooth headset, or just pull over. Its really bad when you almost get hit by a police officer because he is too busy running his mouth on his cell phone while driving.

Back on topic, if I seen the bus driver of my childs bus texting while driving I would giver that person an ear full. Texting and tweeting every little movement is not that important. People don't need to text all day long about some dumb stuff.

Guess I am not much for cell phones. Well Cell phones are either when you need them or a replacement for the house phone.

Now that I am done ranting everyone have a good day.

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Texting while driving should carry a heavy fine. In fact, some cities already have a DWT (Driving While Texting) law that is almost as bad as a DWI. This needs to be a nationwide thing. If you think talking is bad, texting actually completely removes peoples attention from the road for periods of time rather then just splitting their attention. We already know how bad people multi-task with all the talking while driving accidents.

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kid007 replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 8:48 AM

it would be very hard for them to enforced that rule, here in michigan they are trying to pass that law to for drivers. Oh boy...

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This will be easier to enforce on bus drivers and truck drivers because of the elevated seat. The cops will get a much better viewing angle.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 11:19 AM

Hey Bighorse; I think if I saw the driver of my child's school bus texting while driving. I would wait till they stopped, and walk on the bus smack them in there head, grab there phone and crush it on the ground then walk away. Then I would call the school board (after getting my child off the bus of course), and tell them I just performed a citizens arrest on the bus driver of bus# for texting while driving.

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gibbersome replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 11:27 AM

Haha rapid1. You could probably charge the driver with several counts of willful endangerment of a minor.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 1:54 PM

Exactly that idea is ridiculous as is a person driving a semi with several tons of materials on it and texting. The fact that it's not  automatically reckless driving is what gives me as you would figure it would at least be that. I am also a licensed Class B commercial driver (don't even ask, I have done or been in quite a few career paths, I also owned an event production company at one time named Brilliance Productions ATL.). Either way as for a professional driver of any type doing this while moving the idea alone is so ridiculous it is without comparison. You are driving say 20-50 tons (Semi truck) of vehicles or furniture or groceries, and texting while moving. I would say if you hit anyone or any vehicle it is careless or attempted man slaughter personally.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 11:36 PM

It takes a while for the law to adapt to new technology.

Also, I dunno if it's just me but a lot of odd things stuck out to me in that pic lol... Like the dog in the guys lap... and that flowering... thing... in the back. Those aren't items I would associate with a trucket lol

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jan 29 2010 3:31 AM

Oh LOL that's an on board PC most trucks have them today and the flowers is his cab mattress the dog seems weird, but I am quite positive truckers have dogs. The whole thing is strange really you have to understand your at home generally at most 5-7 days a month. SO your on the road 3 weeks straight at a time. Unless of course your lucky enough to get a set local run for a local company which is pretty rare. I think you guys would be quite surprised by trucks now. You can get a truck with a full apartment in it with an on board toilet shower sattelite TV internet GSM a king size bed/or bunk beds a stove everything. These guys live in there truck, that's why I never went to Class A. rofl look at truck 7 in this youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL-LNeXdOyM (the big yellow one).

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acarzt:

It takes a while for the law to adapt to new technology.

Also, I dunno if it's just me but a lot of odd things stuck out to me in that pic lol... Like the dog in the guys lap... and that flowering... thing... in the back. Those aren't items I would associate with a trucket lol

Haha, you're right, I missed the dog completely, and flower pattern bed sheets! And he's not even wearing a seat belt. Rapid1 is right, truckers live out of their trucks and save money on motels while on the road, though the accommodations are pretty cramped. With the typewriter, radio, and GPS, there's more than enough to distract you.

One thing that passengers cars do that is annoying for truck drivers is cutting them off. Always be sure to leave extra space behind you when passing a truck. It's hard to stop a 20 ton truck as quickly as your car.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jan 29 2010 3:27 PM

That's the truth, I was actually quite surprised when I was exploring this career path at many of the elements and individuals in it. You can actually make a lot of money doing it, but I also believe in many ways you become a gypsy, if you get my drift. You live the largest part of your life on the road. This market is also where a lot of things especially mobile technology started. Big trucks has GPS units and all kinds of thing on the mobile front years before they were available in cars and on foot for mobility. A large amount of big truck stops have had wireless access points for quite some time as well. But I met people from all walks of life to. We had a graphic designer and a web page admin/creator guy as well which seemed kind of weird I admit, but they were there as well as a pilot and several other professionals training to drive semi's.

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caos420 replied on Fri, Jan 29 2010 7:34 PM

That sucks for the insurance company's of the drivers these guys would have plowed into! lol

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 30 2010 1:30 AM

Hey I remember getting blind sided several in fact 9 I think years ago by a girl who was on her cell phone and sped through a changing light. She was still on her cell phone when the cops got there and told them she was on her phone. It was written up as a no fault accident.

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well this was a great idea.. if all the drivers in the world do this no one would encounter the car accident by texting or calling while driving those cars or trucks. i remember when i go to my mechanic to change the Mitsubishi Truck Bumpers . i saw a car accident and its because of using the phone while driving.

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FRS replied on Sat, Feb 11 2012 9:00 PM

All phones should disable text if in motion. It would make this a non issue for cars or trucks. Everyone should be banned from texting and driving and should use hands free to talk.

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Feb 12 2012 9:01 AM

Yes; I Totally agree, but I think it should be implemented differently, I think phone keyboards should auto vocal when in motion, and not otherwise work. The ban you mention should also be the law as Texting while driving is very dangerous. The big thing about this is all phones could be updated OTA to implement it period and it should be a law. Then no one could do it be they in a truck, a car, a Bus etc. Oh and if you were riding a bus or were a passenger and it was a must you could be more distracted and do it through an instant messenger or other method oh wait the keyboard would be disabled completely. No wait they should make car makers put a proximity sensor in all motor vehicles steering wheels, and make all phone providers put one in all phones, oh wait they could not cover any cars, trucks, or buses that were made prior to the implementation of the law.

 

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