Complete Ban on Cell Phone Use Proposed For Truck and Commercial Drivers

The past decade has brought stunning advancements in the world of cell phone use. Cell phones can now be used for many different things beyond just a simple phone call.

With those advancements, however, has emerged the danger of distracted driving, and disastrous consequences along with that. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is proposing a complete ban on the use of cell phones by truckers and other commercial drivers. This would include the use of hands-free devices.

Unlike most vehicles on the road, a truck or commercial vehicle can do far more damage should a driver be distracted and cause an accident. This was highlighted in an accident in Nebraska last year, in which the driver crossed an unpaved median slamming into a van carrying 12 people, killing 11, including the driver. The NTSB is investigating this incident, and reports that not only was the driver making a phone call at the time of the accident, he had made 69 other calls and texts in the 24-hour period leading up to the crash.

Support for Ban

The ban aims to prevent such accidents. The NTSB believes that both hand-held and hands free cell phones are a distraction and they should not be used by commercial drivers at any time. The chair of the NTSB, Deborah Hersman, is aware of the fact that truckers will likely oppose the ban. However, the ban has the support of the American Trucking Association, which is comprised of 37,000 trucking companies.

The ban will be nothing new, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has already banned texting while driving and is the process of issuing regulations banning the use of hand-held cell phones. This is in addition to the 34 states that currently make text messaging while driving illegal.