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FMCSA is providing for the public to comment on this rulemaking until Feb. 22nd, 2012. The proposal and information about how to submit comments is here. 

Government regulators have announced a new rule prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

To be issued jointly by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the rule is the latest action by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to put an end to distracted driving.

“I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the new restriction will face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations.

Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.

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The rule will take effect 30 days after it gets published in the Federal Register. Distracted! Driving - DVD TrainingJ. J. Keller’s Distracted! Driving – DVD Training is designed to change distracted driving habits and help professional drivers deal with the dangerous habits of others.

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