Person using cell phone while driving.

Person using cell phone while driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) severity tables for the Unsafe Driving and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs on February 8, 2012, to include 27 new entries, as listed below.

Unsafe Driving BASIC

The agency added the following texting and cell-phone-use violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC:

  • §177.804(b): Failure to comply with 49 CFR 392.80 – Texting while Oper a CMV -Placardable HM, severity weight 10
  • §177.804(c): Fail to comply with 392.82 – Using Mobile Phone while Oper a CMV – HM, severity weight 10
  • §392.80(a): Driving a commercial motor vehicle while Texting, severity weight 10
  • §392.82(a)(1): Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV, severity weight 10
  • §392.82(a)(2): Allowing or requiring driver to use a hand-held mobile tel while operating a CMV, severity weight 10

    No driver shall use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. (49 CFR Part 392.82) A commercial motor vehicle is defined by the US DOT as a vehicle with a single or combined GVWR, or actual weight of over 10,000# utilized in interstate commerce. (Note: Most states have adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for intrastate commerce with vehicles at weights ranging from 10,001 to 26,001#)

    Use of a hand held mobile telephone means: (49 CFR Part 390.5)

    1. Using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication,
    2. Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or
    3. Reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner which requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated position.
    Three minutes of good information, well explained and demonstrated.
    • This rule does not prohibit a driver from using a mounted mobile phone which can be easily accessed from the driver’s seat and activated with a single button. 
    • Driving means operating a commercial vehicle while on a public road, and when stopped in traffic on such a road. Driving does not include instances when the driver is safely parked.  Emergency use is permitted.
    • Penalty: Driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for 60 days with the second offense in 3 years. (120 days for each subsequent offense within 3 years)  Only applies if violation occurred while driving a CMV.

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