Robert Eglet, of Eglet Wall Law Firm in Las Vegas, Nev., writes of a the decision by the FMCSA to ban truckers from using cellphones while driving. This information, published in TruckAccident Magazine, includes valuable details the public should know.
January 3, 2012, marked a victory for all drivers on the road. As of this date, drivers of large trucks are prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule from the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) was enacted to combat the surge in distracted driver related accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unanimously recommended this final rule to the FMCSA on the heels of a fiery crash that killed 11 people on a Kentucky interstate. On March 26, 2010, truck driver, Kenneth Laymon crossed an unpaved median strip along Interstate 65, just as he made a call on his cellphone. Within that brief second that Kenneth Laymon was distracted by his cell phone, his tractor-trailer plowed head on into a Mennonite family’s van, killing 10 of the van’s 12 occupants. After an in depth investigation by the NTSB, investigators found that Kenneth Laymon had in fact made and received 69 calls and texts during the 24 hours before the fiery crash. “Texting or talking on the phone while driving can turn deadly in a matter of seconds, particularly when a big rig or bus is involved,” U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood said.
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