The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) isn’t playing around when it comes to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and distracted driving. Not only has the organization more clearly defined what constitutes as distracted driving for CMV drivers, but it has also levied extensive penalties against offending drivers and the carriers that employ them.
What do the New Rules Require?
In order to cut down on distracted driving incidents by CMVs, the new rules have all but eliminated the usefulness of mobile phones for those in the business. For instance, it is now illegal for drivers to do the following:
- Hold a mobile phone in their hands.
- Reach for a mobile phone in a manner in which you are no longer properly restrained by your safety belt.
- Texting while driving.
- Making phone calls that require the pressing of more than one number.
- Pressing more than one button to initiate or terminate a call.
Another thing the new rules clarified and cleared up is what it means to be driving. As far as the FMCSA is concerned if you are operating the vehicle on a roadway in any of the following situations, the new rules apply:
- Moving forward.
- Temporarily stationary due to traffic, traffic control devices, crossing guards etc.
- Temporarily stationary due to other momentary delays.
Now it’s time to learn more about the potential penalties for failing to comply with these new rules.
What are the Federal Civil Penalties for Distracted Driving in CMVs?
It’s important to understand that while the penalties for drivers are no small slaps on the wrist, the penalty for carriers who hire these offending drivers are far worse. The following are among the penalties assessed according to these new rules:
- Fines for drivers of up to $2,750.
- Fines for carriers of up to $11,000.
- Driver disqualification for multiple offenses.
What many drivers are surprised to learn is that infractions that occur in regular passenger vehicles can impact your professional driving licenses.
How Can Push to Talk Two Way Radios Help?
Push to talk two way radios allow you to remain in compliance with federal regulations while remaining safe while driving. These radios provide one-touch access to communications, can be mounted within easy reach of the driver, and come equipped with advanced safety features including SOS or panic buttons for emergency situations.
Peak PTT can work with you to identify the best possible system for your drivers and their needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you comply with these new regulations while keeping the lines of communication open with your drivers.