Truck drivers could be forbidden to use cell phones whi... Truck drivers could be forbidden to use cell phones while driving (ACE, Flickr).
Federal regulators took a step toward banning cell-phone use in vehicles by recommending that all commercial vehicle drivers be forbidden to use the phones unless in cases of emergencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board, an advisory body, made the recommendation following an investigation of a 2010 Kentucky crash that killed 11 people. In that accident, a tractor trailer had jumped a grass median and collided with a 15-passenger church van. The driver of the truck was later found to have been making cell-phone calls prior to the accident and was on the phone when it occurred.

The Department of Transportaton is already considering new rules to ban all 3.7 million commercial drivers from talking on cellphones except in emergencies. Last year, the DOT banned those drivers from texting while driving.

The NTSB's statement seems sure to make the proposal law, and gives the DOT, which has been vocal in its support of a ban on cellphone use in all vehicles, more ammunition.

The NTSB previously recommended bans on cellphone use by newly licensed commercial drivers after an accident in 2002, as well as among bus drivers after a fatal collision in 2004 found to be caused by distracted driving on the part of the bus driver. Following an epic accident in 2008, the advisory body also recommended banning cellphone use for commercial railroad and marine operators.

In a rare twist, the American Trucking Associations, the trade group and lobby that usually battles regulations, said it agreed with the safety board's recommendations.

The ATA, back in 2009, said there should be a legislative ban on texting for all drivers, including passenger car drivers, and last year it said that hand-held cellphone use should also be banned among all drivers.

The DOT proposed a ban on cellphone use among truck drivers last December, and has been considering public comment on the issue. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, who strongly favors a federal ban on all cellphone use by drivers, said, "The National Transportation Safety Board can speak with a loud voice, and we're very happy to have them on board."


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  • 255 Comments
      canienaga
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a son who has been driving a truck cross country for 16 years without an accident. I don't believe his use of the cell phone is the problem. I think the problem is teenagers on the cell phone talking to their friends constantly while driving. They are much more interested in the conversation with their friends than in the road ahead of them. They also don't have enough experience driving to make quick decision in a dangerous situation.
      rhodesa
      • 3 Years Ago
      this will be ok only if it extends to all other occupations that might be endangered, such as police, military, or any other commercial transportation... actually the non-commercial driver with no commercial driving training and monitoring should be disallowed before the commercial group... to be fair cell phones would have to be banned by any driver since we cannot put value on one life above another... maybe all drivers should have to log and not ever drive fatigued...not just driving either all occupations... police should never be allowed to work over 11hrs without enjoying a 10hr break beforehand so they won't be tired and make a mistake... and doctors for heaven sake, inspectors of any kind, train employees, anyone who operates mechanical equip... the insurance overlords would be thrilled...then they could just charge and not have to pay out but once in a great while... or maybe we could all just bring them our money and give it to them for no reason at all and then they could be happy... aw, poor little insecure overlords
      wldfireman8
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've said it all alone after a visit to europe, make the fines to large that they'll really think twice about using a phone when driving. I was run OFF the road by a young women who was texting, came into my lane..I didnt even have time to beep my horn. She was driving a large 4x4 which would have cause serious injury if I had'nt been aware of the conditions around me. Look at how many young kids who have serious debilitaing life long injuries or have died because of cell phone use. Officers should take the phone, put it in a bag with the ticket which must be paid within 30 days ( they'll recieve it back once the fine is paid) or lose their licence for 1 yr..first offence! the cities will get revenue for their ignorance and the roads may be less hazarous. My two cents. I think younger people mistake the words "privilage and Rights"
      neffredwingfan91
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only way to stop cell phone use while driving is to make it a law that all vehicles be equipped with a device that creates a field that prevents a cell phone from working while the vehicle is in motion.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @neffredwingfan91
        Well that would be really smart if i need to dial 911 to get the police or rescue while i am driving! Because you never have an emergency while you are driving!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the truth about the parasite invader criminals from south of the border be sure to watch ; BORDER WARS TONITE ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEGINNING AT 8 PM.
      Madeleine
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe you need a dictionary. Privilege is spelled incorrectly. Too many e's.
        Coach
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Madeleine
        what are you. the spelling Police ?
      • 3 Years Ago
      ?
      accsport
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now this I wonder about. I've watched car drivers on the phone with no idea about their driving, on the other hand I've yet to see one truck that was using the phone and was not fully aware and in control of his truck. The truck drivers will have more and often legitimate reasons to be on the phone. Once again our government is on the ball except its the wrong ball.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree. CDL holders shouldn't use cell phones while driving. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of the driving public shouldn't be using cell phones while driving. You see it every day. Don't try to change truck speed limits. Leave them the same as the cars around them. If the flow of traffic is 75-80, so be it. Local enforcement customs determine how fast traffic flows (3 over, 6 over, 10 over) and it should be the same for all vehicles.
      ldwytrk411017
      • 3 Years Ago
      im a driver ,,,,owner op,,,hands freeonly for everybody !!!! , im ok with , the shifts get long they help ya stay awake talkin to somebody ,,no texting for everybody , even better!! loss of license for all those that text and drive honestly im tired of dodgin everybody withthe phone being held up to there ear,,,they cant see to the side there holding the phone, can see anything to your side, driving in both lanes cars, trucks, buses, everybody
        Wayne Ferguson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ldwytrk411017
        Im a driver too, maybe they should look at all accidents, not just trucks. Man I get tired of all this crap being blamed on truckdrivers. Get a cop to ride with me and he will write enough tickets for all the automobiles and people with phones to fix the federal deficit. Enough said. If they take these rights then we need to sue their pants off.
      LL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good Idea !!! ( unless they can prove that it's "Hand's Free" )
      Danny
      • 3 Years Ago
      before they put a ban on truck drivers and all other drivers, they need to stop law enforcement officers from leading the problem. I have seen just as many law enforcement personel using their cell phones (and NOT hands free, but rather a cell phone stuck to their ear with one hand and driving with the other). You must forst set an exapmle to show that what you want stopped is wrong. by allowing them to continue to break the laws you want enforced is wrong
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