In an effort to reduce the number of serious truck accidents and truck accident injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has banned all commercial vehicle drivers from using mobile devices such as cell phones and smart phones while behind the wheel. The FMCSA announced the new law in November and the rule went into effect the first of the year.
Under the new federal trucking regulation, truckers will face fines of up to $2,750 if they are found using cell phones or push-to-talk devices while driving commercial vehicles or buses. Trucking companies and bus companies will face fines of up to $11,000 when their employees violate the law.
Texting and mobile messaging was banned for commercial vehicle drivers last year after studies showed that the activities significantly increased the number of truck accidents.
Drivers are still allowed to use cell phones if they:
- Use the cell phone’s speakerphone function.
- Use a wired ear device to speak on the phone.
- Use a wireless earpiece such as a Bluetooth device.
As the technology becomes more popular, and as research reveals the danger of driver distractions, cell phone and texting laws are changing rapidly across the country. Here’s what you need to know about Virginia’s texting and cell phone laws:
- Commercial truckers in Virginia may not text while driving or use the cell phone while driving.
- It is illegal for all Virginia drivers to text message while driving.
- While juvenile drivers are not allowed to talk on the cell phone while driving, a law that would ban all Virginia drivers from talking on mobile phones while driving failed last year.
If you have been injured in a Virginia truck accident that involved distracted driving, text messaging, or cell phone use, you may wish to speak with a Norfolk personal injury attorney. The VA truck accident attorneys at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan offer prospective clients a free, confidential consultation in which we will review the facts of your case and discuss possible legal action. Call today to schedule an appointment.