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Hand-held cell phone ban for truckers in effect NOW

Michigan truck accident lawyer: truckers talking on cell phones while driving commercial vehicles now illegal

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) set January 3, 2012 as the effective date of the new hand-held cell phone ban for commercial truck drivers and bus drivers.

That means as of today, any cell phone use behind the wheel by drivers of commercial vehicles is prohibited and against the law.

Here’s a blog I wrote with more details on the ban: Truck and bus drivers prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

For a review, here are the penalties for the cell phone ban, which was instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):

o Federal civil penalties up to $2,750 for each offense.

o Disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses.

o States will also suspend a truck driver’s CDL after two or more serious traffic violations.

o Commercial truck and bus companies will face a maximum penalty of $11,000

Truck accident lawyers – this new ban is extremely important. I’ve been personally involved in this issue ever since I represented a client and friend many years ago who lost both his legs due to a trucker who was talking on his cell phone and wasn’t paying attention. I’ve been following this issue since I made it a part of my presidency and education programs when I was President of the Truck Accident Lawyers Group of American Association for Justice, and I will be putting an education program on this later this year as part of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association Mega Seminar.

I hope all everyone – not just lawyers – pays attention to this new cell phone ban. When truckers (and the trucking companies who hire them) break the law by talking on the phone and then causing crashes, this law will be an important part of deterring future bad conduct and hopefully preventing truck accidents and saving lives.

- Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the top truck lawyers in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for a truck accident case. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work to promote national truck safety.

Related information to protect yourself:

Michigan truck rules

Find a Michigan truck accident lawyer

New rule for truck, bus drivers: No texting

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (800) 777-0028 or to speak with one of our truck lawyers today.

Posted in: BLOG, Michigan Truck Accidents and tagged , , .

2 comments on “Hand-held cell phone ban for truckers in effect NOW

  1. Rick Risi on said:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the information on the new rule. one question, does this rule cover intrastate CMV drivers? It is my understanding that the rule only covers Intrastate drivers who haul hazardous materials. michigan has no law/rule that regulates the FMCSR for cell phone use. only texting rules. I need to draft a strict policy for our intrastate drivers and I know they will inform me that the rule does not apply to them and I want to be ready to debate and enforce a company policy.

    Thank you

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