Federal rule bans texting for truck and bus drivers

Posted on May 13, 2010
The United States Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, has proposed a federal rule that would specifically ban texting for interstate commercial truck and bus drivers. This rule would make permanent an interim ban that was announced this past January.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that drivers who send and receive texts while operating a motor vehicle take their eyes off the road for an average fo 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. If someone is driving 55 miles per hour, that would be the length of a football field including endzones without once looking at the road. Drivers who text and drive are also 20 times more likely to get into an accident than those who don't.

Last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order banning federal employees from engaging in text messaging activities while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment. The ban went into effect December 30, 2009.

The texting ban for commercial truck and bus drivers encourages participation in permanent rule-making and feedback. The public is encouraged to submit comments through the Department of Transportation at regulations.gov.