What the FMCSA Mobile Phone Restriction Rule Means for Drivers and Carriers?

In order to protect people on the roadways, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented mobile phone restriction rules related specifically to commercial motor vehicles. These rules require drivers to avoid doing the following with mobile phones, while on the road:

  • Holding
  • Dialing
  • Reaching for
  • Texting
  • Reading text

In other words, the restrictions are fairly comprehensive. But few people are discussing the penalties and fines, or other fallout related to infractions of these extensive rules.

Fines and Penalties

It is essential, to ensure compliance, that the fines and penalties be properly punitive. Most will agree that the penalties for first and subsequent infractions are steep. Some would say that with fines of up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for  their employers, per infraction, the fines are certainly discouraging to drivers who can rarely afford such steep penalties.

Driver Disqualification

The driver disqualification aspect of the rule is an equally effective deterrent. Most drivers aren’t eager to lose access to their livelihoods by violating these new regulations. Drivers who are caught using their mobile phones against regulations multiple times may face just that, the disqualification of their Commercial Drivers Licenses in the states in which they are issued.

Distracted Driving Risks 

While distracted driving in any vehicle is an incredible risk, it is an even greater risks in vehicles the size and weight of CMVs that require longer stopping distances and times than the average passenger vehicle. Because mobile phone dialing, texting, and reading requires drivers to take their eyes off the road for multiple seconds, the risk of an accident increases exponentially during these moments. It only takes a split second for worlds to change. Keeping your eyes (and mind) on the road while driving can help reduce some of these split seconds that can have terrifying results.

The Push to Talk Two-Way Radio Solution

Your best bet is to comply with these regulations. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using push to talk two-way radios for your vehicles and to mount the radios within easy reach of the driver. That way the driver doesn’t have to contort him or herself when pushing the button. PTT radios comply because they only require the pressing of a single button to make or receive a call. Dialing isn’t necessary.

Don’t delay while costly infractions pile up. Contact Peak PTT today to learn how we can help you make the shift toward compliance with state-of-the-art front-line radios today.

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