U.S. DOT proposes banning cell phones for commercial truck, bus drivers

In the latest move in Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s campaign against distracted driving, his agency proposed on Friday, prohibiting commercial truck and bus drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel. The rule would effect approximately 4 million drivers, who are already banned by the fed from texting while driving.

“Every time a commercial truck or bus driver takes his or her eyes off the road to use a cell phone, even for a few seconds, the driver places everyone around them at risk,” LaHood said in a statement.

Inattention was a factor in 9% of crashes involving large trucks, and between 6% and 13% of those involving busses. There were 38 fatal bus crashes in 2009, up from 20 previously. Large transport outfits such as UPS and Wal-Mart already prohibit drivers from using cell phones while driving, and many state and local governments have bans in place. The proposal must go through a 60-day comment period before being finalized.

Nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2009.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: MSNBC