Using a hand-held mobile telephone may reduce a driver’s situational awareness,
decision making, or performance; and it may result in a crash, near-crash, unintended lane
departure by the driver, or other unsafe driving action. Indeed, research indicates that reaching
for and dialing hand-held mobile telephones are sources of driver distraction that pose a specific
safety risk. To address the risk associated with these activities, the Agencies restrict CMV
drivers’ use of hand-held mobile telephones, which includes “using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication.” As discussed below, while operating a
CMV, the driver may only use a compliant mobile telephone, such as a hands free mobile phone,
to conduct a voice communication
Final Rule Overview
The final rule bars commercial drivers from using hand-held devices while operating a commercial truck or bus.
Each offense can cost the violator up to $2,750; while multiple offenses can result in disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle.
After two or more serious violations, states can move to suspend the CDL license of the driver.
A hefty penalty up to $11,000 can be charged to companies that permit drivers to use hand-held phones while behind the wheel.
The final hand-held cell phone ban rule can be read here.