The FMCSA has posted an FAQ page about the ban on hand held cellular phones by commercial motor vehicle  (CMV) drivers.

Multitasking is against the law.

When you are at the wheel, driving safely should be your only focus.”

Here are some highlights:

Are holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) subject to the regulation only when driving a CMV, as defined in 49 CFR 383.5, or any vehicle?

CDL holders are subject to the Federal rule only when driving a CMV.

What is required of the employer in terms of company policy or training?

The rule does not require motor carriers to establish written policies in terms of company policy or training programs for their drivers.   However, employers are prohibited from allowing or requiring their drivers to use hand-held mobile phones.  A motor carrier may establish policies or practices that make it clear that the employer does not require or allow hand-held mobile telephone use while driving a CMV in interstate commerce.   The carrier is responsible for its drivers’ conduct.

“In the minutes before the 5:14 a.m. crash, the driver made three phone calls, the last one at 5:14.”

Is dialing a phone number allowed under this rule?

No. Dialing a mobile telephone while operating a CMV in interstate commerce is prohibited by the rule.  A driver can initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button on a mobile telephone, earpiece, steering wheel, or instrument panel – comparable to using vehicle controls or instrument panel functions, such as the radio or climate control system.

Can a driver reach for a mobile telephone even if he/she intends to use the hands-free function?

No. In order to comply with this rule, a driver must have his or her mobile telephone located where the driver is able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button while the driver is in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt.  If the mobile telephone is not close to the driver and operable while the driver is restrained by properly installed and adjusted seat belts, then the driver is considered to be reaching for the mobile phone, which is prohibited by the rule.

For all the FAQ’s click FMCSA_FAQ

Here is the  Mobile Phone Ban final rule (PDF)

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