DOT Enacts Handheld Cell Phone Ban for Commercial Drivers

Kansas City truck accident lawyers who had been very encouraged about the Department of Transportation’s ban on text messaging while driving for commercial truck and bus drivers earlier this year, have more reason to celebrate. The Department of Transportation has now proposed a complete ban on hand-held cell phone use for commercial truck and bus drivers.

Several media outlets this week are reporting on what is likely to be an early holiday gift to Kansas City’s injury lawyers. The legislation is proposing banning commercial truck and bus drivers from using their cell phones while driving. The proposal would prevent drivers from reaching for, holding or dialing a phone while at the wheel. It’s not just drivers who would be held accountable for any violations of the ban. Trucking companies and commercial bus companies who employ these drivers, will also be held accountable for any violations. Multiple violations of the cell phone ban could result in a commercial truck or bus driver losing his license.

According to the federal administration, in 2009, approximately 5,500 accident fatalities were linked to distracted driving. According to the government, there are approximately 4 million buses and trucks in the country whose drivers will immediately be affected by the hand-held cell phone ban. The hand-held cell phone ban comes on the heels of a text messaging ban announced earlier this year.

Obviously as a Kansas City truck accident attorney, I would prefer that commercial truck and bus drivers not operate any kind of electronic communication devices while driving, including hands-free sets. There is enough evidence to indicate that the distractions from cell phone use come not from the use of hands to hold the phone, but the actual conversation that you are having with the other person. However, bans on text messaging and hand-held cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers is definitely a great place to start.