Ban on Cell-Phone Use by Commercial Drivers Hits Federal Register

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published its final rule that restricts cell-phone usage by commercial drivers engaged in interstate transportation.

School Transportation News reported on the final rule last month. Bob Riley, executive director of NASDPTS, said the student transportation industry submitted a previous public comment in support of the ban. While the majority of school bus drivers are exempt from complying with the regulations because they are public employees, Riley said the ban could positively affect student safety to and from school.

“This FMCSA rulemaking will reinforce and broaden existing training, laws, and compliance in the important area of  prohibiting distracted driving by all CMV drivers, resulting in, even safer, school bus transportation,” said Riley, who added that 19 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit the use of cell phones by all school bus drivers while driving.

Some school bus drivers who work for private bus companies with federal DOT identification numbers and who engage in interstate travel must comply with the new regulations.