New Rule For Mobile Phone Use in Commercial Vehicles

January 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Posted in Auto, Laws, Regulations | Leave a comment
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As you recall, Massachusetts passed the safe driving law on September 30, 2010 banning texting while operating a vehicle.  Massachusetts will also enforce the U.S. Department of Transportation’s rule regarding the use of hand-held mobile phones in commercial motor vehicles.

The regulation defines a “commercial motor vehicle” as any vehicle used on public highways in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property with:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, or
  • A vehicle designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation or,
  • A vehicle designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers not for compensation, or
  • A vehicle transporting hazardous materials that requires placarding under the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. App.1801-1813).

This rule prohibits the following:

  • Holding a mobile phone (including push to talk phones) to conduct voice communication.
  • Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button.
  • Reaching for a mobile phone in an unacceptable or unsafe manner.

Please note:  This rule does not prohibit a driver from using a mounted mobile phone that can be easily accessed from the driver’s seat and activated with a single button.  Also, the term mobile phone does not include two way or Citizens Band Radio services.

Penalties will be issued to both the driver AND their employer.  So, whether you operate a commercial vehicle for employment or own a small business, drive safe…your well being and your job could depend on it!

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